To be lost in a man is to find his ruin
_______nestled within him,

a barn-owl
_______trapped in the rafters mid-winter

until it gives in to solitude, sleep.
_______To find his betrayals, small swailings

inside him; how the coals
_______of his first eighteen Octobers crackle now low

in his throat, the embers singing
_______themselves into smoke. To see through him: the boy,

his hair wet & parted—a shimmering fish
_______pulled out of ice-water. Not holy, not yet

beautiful. Not shaking but shaken,
_______but found.

To be lost when you’ve heard his bad echo;
_______the way his feet carry on

as he carries it daily, carries it
_______with both hands. How for you, he practices holding

& turning a sound
_______to new worship—

let it rise on its own & it rises:
_______unhurried, lopsided, like bread.

And how he arrives at your door after midnight
_______with the smell of a field

you’ve once walked as a child, the way it opened itself
_______completely, one Jessamine at a time.

& this might be all he knows
_______of devotion; the way his hands move through his sleep,

tracing small rosaries in the air.
_______This is the wild of your life & you watch him

as David was watching Bathsheba
_______drifting on the roof by herself

with Uriah, away in besieged Rabbah,
_______fallen on his sword

& David knowing, watching— lost
_______entirely in the woman: not holy, never

holy. Only bathing, beautiful
_______& naked enough to be found.

AVIA Tadmor