Mysterious Figure

Mysterious Figure
for my daughter

Is God a girl? you asked as we climbed
the Coast Range, your taste for iron and salt
expanding beyond your 1,875th day.
Do numbers go forever? Our small car
rounded a curve
and caught sight of the shimmering sea.
If numbers keep going, there must be a day-itty.
You said it that way, your cheeks the color
of apricots, beautiful mind hungry as one bee—
no cloud, no chord, no stone,
no poem can ever be like yours. Today,
mysterious figure we never dreamed,
you blow on your alto saxophone
lonely numerals with love,
numbers that have no other.

Let the tender hands of the clock
turn the pages, and raise your family of notes.
Life moves with sweet intensity,
blossoms geometrically,
as your fingers discover twilight. We blow a kiss
to the mystery of who you are,
and our lips touch infinity, this small world—
all the rest, rumors in the grass.
You play the wind, listen for the rain
and take flight with the ferocity of one drawn to song,
sculpting your own Greek isle.
With each breath you seek a heaven
that has no need of honey.

William O’Daly

CutBank, Vol. 72 | 73, June 2010, print