I once read that philosophy gave the gift of proportion
that the gift of God hid the secret of being
that all things in time become one and the river was a gift
that kept us moving when moving was impossible
and that no men were strangers because flesh and bone
and breath, all gifted together in the strange enterprise
of hostage-taking as hospitality
of play as law and law as divine
of love in morning wrapped around the corner of the house
and the tallow tree and lamppost and the haunted topography
of my mind’s ill-proportioned memories
in sumptuously soft and aureate light—sing no strangers.
I could not bear to see you as a stranger.
I once read that gifts were poison.
I see gifts everywhere.
Playing, enterprising, making wars and mornings
and hiding in minds and maps and under bridges
over rivers just north of the future
where I finally find myself in the gift
we gave ourselves.
I am poisoned.