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Poetry

The Art of Ignorance

Think of it as a kind of sleep,
restful, nourishing, blank;
a place where fears would reside
and also fall away forgotten, become
powerless. I don’t mean to suggest
what you don’t know won’t hurt you.
It’s just that the last thing you want to give
a frightened child is insight…
and what are any of them but frightened?

There comes that moment
an exhausted swimmer decides to drown,
the skeptic resigned to worship.
An artist gessoes blank canvas
and it is art enough
that honors the unmarked surface…
A man will take measure sometimes
of the crimes
that he did not commit.

“Sleep” isn’t the exact word, though.

There are traditions where the name of God
must remain unspoken; the light of a face
is imagined an all-consuming fire.

Courage only makes known what it would
when we are ready.