50: coma in cantos, canto 9

Edward, he said, came
dripping from the waters of coma
and told the neuro team
he’d always dreamed
in that aspirational fashion
of taking time for a stone and water
and a warm part
of the stone
above the water line,
the water calm,
rippling around the stone
and the sun above warm
but not too hot
and a coolness emanating
from the water
and the birds in nearby trees
dipping in for insects
with little snaps of their
beaks, little bits
of golden pollen, leaf parts,
insect wings, vegetable matter
drifting slowly on the soft water,
a green mirror
that duplicated the sky
and slow passing clouds
and maybe a plane in the distance
with a condensation trail
like the rachis of a feather
slicing the otherwise crystal world.

Yes, he’d always aspired
to sitting on the stone,
which was somewhat flat,
and taking the time
to mediate there,
to listen to world,
to filter out its noise
and false and facile stories,
unbelievable, undying faiths,
selfish leaders,
tiresome spaces,
prohibitions and duplicitous expectations.

when he woke from deepsleep
he told my father he remembered
nothing other than being on that stone,
that his dream of the stone
was as real as life, as breathing,
as the pain in his back.
He could smell the water,
not smell the water as he drifted;
feel the sun on his shoulder
like two warm hands,
not feel the sun as he drifted
deeper into meditation,
hear the birds, the insects,
the sometime plup plup of fish
coming to the mirror surface,
dishear the birds as the wind
assisted Eduardo’s meditative
diminishment in the face of all.

when he opened his eyes
he opened his eyes
to the ceiling, to the lamp there,
to the sound of machines,
air, and the smell, the smell,
the smell of clean linens,
strange orchestrations of wall,
machine, and uniform whiteness.

but no matter he wanted
to go back, to return,
to close his eyes,
return to that lake, that stone,
that sun,
that water,
those birds,
the stillness of his mind,
that freedom of letting go,
that feel of the wind
and its soft sufficiency
and weightlessness,
to the breathing,
which is all that mattered.

my father said he wept,
Eduardo did, coming out of coma,
wept to lose it all.

my father said, It impressed on me:
heaven, yet again, the promise of it,
of rest. I envied this Eduardo,
my father said, the way
he touched heaven
and brought a little of it
back to this world
and to me.

why, I asked?

because, he said,
why that image?
Oh, he said,
it’s no logician’s evidence,
but the question remains:
why that image,
one out of all the others,
that image of meditation rainless,
painless, and such moment
movementless? Why that image
drawn by some almost unmeasurable
electric capillary of the deeply
sleeping mind?

returning there,
in his own white room,
returning there, I want
to go back as who I am now
or who I’ve become
and say: if you in your deepsleep
sleep with the images
others have given,
or with those of your own,
which are never your own,
motionless, a ladder even,
a ladder up, a lake like a mirror,
if you bring the total
of those images you remember
with you, which is the definition
of you, the order of you,
you, accompanied by images:

it need not be heaven,
or any other association
co-occurencing; no,
more so this: a lake.
I would go
with you
there, this image in me now,
this aspiration;
you may indeed wish it heaven
but it’s the image of a lake.