From far off in the distance I heard the song.
It was like fine red wine with creamy chocolate;
it was like seasoned oak, chopped and stacked;
it was like a hooked steelhead, rising and then
tail-walking on a roiling trout stream;
like a wealthy person who owns very little,
but what they have they give away;
or like a submersible sinking slowly
down into uncharted depths.
To some ears, it may be like a soldier who
comes home from the war, his sweetheart
runs to greet him, to throw her arms
around him, but he just looks off
towards the distant horizon.
I would say it was like a sorrow laced
with some secret, hidden joy;
like a desert traveler nearing an oasis,
who has seen too many mirages;
or like a blind man at the opera, hearing
the “Flower Duet” from “Lakme”
for the first time.
Imagine walking through the streets
of an abandoned village, it is midnight,
and from an open window a white curtain
unfurls like a flag blowing in the wind —
it was like that, or like a tree branch
heavy with ripe cherries too high to reach;
or like a tall wave rolling on the ocean, unseen,
for a thousand miles or more.
And then there is a group of children playing,
laughing and shouting in a language
nobody has ever heard before.
Perhaps it could be compared to that,
or like a rain falling through the broken roof
of an ancient, ruined mountain temple;
like the overwhelming feeling of being
in love, but not knowing with whom;
or like the space between the fog horn
blasts, while adrift on the misty seas.
And it is just like all of that, but more,
and if you heard it, you would know
for yourself exactly what I mean.