Let the knitting drop from your hands, the cat
will play with it for a while, her hands are
not so gnarled. I know you’ve said
that when the hands are busy
the mind is free; but the mind cannot see
very far like that.

Look over the hills, you can catch
the reflection of the ocean
in the nimbus clouds. You can see
the little sailboats and their crews
go down like broken matchsticks,
foam cover solid over
as if nothing had ever been;
but something had—

like the loose vest you were working
before the cat got it
and it was again as it
had always only ever been.

The house is creaking, the maybugs are hovering
now that twilight finally has come,
and—you can hear it? yes?—
the enormous click from under or above.

As if we outdoors of this house,
on this grass, with this evening;
as if the floating continents and every
last small star; as if all—all—
were in company
of the brightly painted gods and ancestors,
who do not need a nimbus by which to stare directly
at crews and sails and cries and the
voracious gulls; as if we all—all—
were in a tiny mamushka doll,
then clicked into a bigger mamushka
that we can’t see, then into a bigger one than that,
then into a bigger one than that,

whether the larger mamushkas
are brighter or paler, or stronger or more cracked,
whether the painted red smiles are prettier
or more voracious, whether the hands
painted to the plump sides stay there
or extend—to pull us by our own hands,
which are not painted to our sides
and which are raised and reaching
to where the mind really breaks free,
and where there is—can you hear it?
yes? no? but you have dropped your knitting—
a kind heart beating.