By Susan Browne
The painting of flowers
next to the painting of flames,
and I remember that time, years ago,
when the psychiatrist said, "You feel too much,
you are too sensitive, take these,"
giving me a bottle of pills. I took them
to the beach, watched light become flame
on the water, and along the ragged cliffs,
small flowers like blue stars,
the world a painting
I couldn't live in.
I opened the bottle, then put it down,
pills spilling on the sand.
Waves carried the flames
and didn't mind the burning,
the arising from and disappearing
into the vastness. I swam,
let the waves take me,
then treaded water, looking at the sky,
a silver tray full
of the most beautiful nothing.
I swam back, the water was black,
I could sink beyond caring,
but I wanted to live,
to be there
with the beauty and the burning
and let it be too much.
From: "Buddha's Dogs" by Susan Browne, page 59