… Why should we be a part
of any argument the stars have with infinity? Is there any end
to your theories, your histories of the heart? Is there
any way we can purely touch the world again, the way
a salamander does, breathing through its skin? Can we
become the strands of this shrine we weave ourselves into
hoping to emerge into a world where—where what?
There is no end to desire, which means no end to regret,
no end to our need for an ending, so that even the sky refuses
our touch, that sky which, at its bluest, is the most empty.
—Richard Jackson, closing strophe to “Benediction,” from Heartwall (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000)