by Mary Oliver
The spirit
   likes to dress up like this:
     ten fingers,
       ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
   at night
      in the black branches
         in the morning

in the blue branches 
    of the world.
       It could float, of course,
          but would rather

plumb rough mattter.
   Airy and shapeless thing,
      it needs
         the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
   the oceanic fluids;
      it needs the body's world,

 and imagination
   and the dark hug of time
       and tangibility

to be understood,
   to be more than pure light
      that burns
         where no one is --

so it enters us --
    in the morning
       shines from brute comfort
          like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
   lights up the deep and wondrous
      drownings of the body
         like a star.


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