AND THE GRASS, IT GROWS
— with thanks to Madhur Anand
It begins with the sun.
Or it begins elsewhere, earlier, further away, but we will not. We will
stay here, we will say it begins with the sun and not the sun but in the
sun, in the heart of it, where the entire weight of it settles on itself,
the whole unimaginable mass of it that it cannot possibly bear and so
it gives. It burns. Under the weight of itself it is destroyed.
Or it is not possible for it to be destroyed. If it is not possible to
destroy, if there can only be change.
The weight of the sun becomes light.
The light touches the sky and it turns it to blue or when it touches the
sky it is the light that turns to blue, and the sky overhead is no longer
an abyss hanging over us. It is something. You lie on your back in
the grass and you look up at it and it is something. It is always there,
no matter where you are or how far you go it is always still there.
Sometimes you think it should be remarkable except that it just is and
the grass beneath you is soft, when it is beneath you, and when it is
not quite beneath you the ends of it tickle your skin.
You lie in it and you look up at the sky and around you the shoots
of grass reach up to the light. The grass drinks it in as if it could be
hungry and inside the grass the light becomes matter again. Magic
occurs: light becomes sugar and the grass, it grows.
If we could speak of purpose it could be that grass exists to restore
the substance light lost to the weight of the sun. But it is not that.
Change begets change, that is all. Matter craves it. The light falls on
the world and under its touch the world opens, it begins to change.
Life begins. And life is change. Relentless, ecstatic, and brutal, life is
It is the grass swelling in the light it soaks up. It is you and how you
are dying. It is what will come of you when you are dead. It is life
tangled up with itself, writhing, with ever new incarnations of itself
rising only to be dismembered and devoured then rising again,
It is matter playing with itself, chasing after every visceral delight it
can imagine, finding what else it can become.
ALAN REED is the author of a collection of poems, For Love of the City (BuschekBooks, 2006), and a novel, Isobel & Emile (Coach House Books, 2010). His short work has appeared in LemonHound, dANDelion, The Coming Envelope, and Papirmass. He lives in Montreal.