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The World Is Too Beautiful for Our Eyes

To hold it for a moment

there is always a price.

Take the seashore, endless sunlight

bursting on water—

pelicans and gulls spindive,

and the tide’s quick shift of sand

is like absence under my feet,

a net cinching tight

until I stumble.

This is the world’s gift to me

because I thought

it could be held,

thought I wouldn’t be

burned by its beauty:

it says

There is no place


to stand.

Even stillness—

like the concentrated beacon

of a heron

tracking small, dark fish

under the surf—

cannot save me.

from Angel BonesFind more by Ilyse Kusnetz at the library

Copyright © 2019 Ilyse Kusnetz
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Ilyse Kusnetz Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.