Love is not the reason. Love is the lure, the thin goat staked out in the clearing.

Jane Hirshfield

Knowing Nothing

Love is not the reason.
Love is the lure,
the thin goat staked out in the clearing.

The lion has stalked
the village for a long time.
It does not want the goat,
who stands thin and bleating,
tied to its bit of wood.

The goat is not the reason.
The reason is the lion,
whose one desire is to enter–
Not the goat, which is
only the lure, only excuse,
but the one burning life
it has hunted for a long time
disguised as hunger. Disguised as love.
Which is not the reason.

Or would you think
that the bones of a lion reason?
Would you think that the tongue?
The lion does not want the goat,
it wants only to live. Alone if it must.
In pain if it must. Knowing nothing.
Like the goat, it wants only to live.
Like love. Or would you think that the heart?

*

A universal. Yes. Hirshfield’s poem finds the crux of the war between heart and mind. A haunting notion.

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~ by samofthetenthousandthings on September 1, 2011.

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