Poem Beginning with a Line by Milosz
–Mark Irwin“The most beautiful bodies are like transparent glass.”They are bodies of the selfless or of those newlydead. What appears transparent is really flameburning so brightly it appears like glass. Whatyou’re looking through is the act of giving: Onething in life needed desperately, given to another,or perhaps life itself. The most beautiful bodiesare not transparent, but sometimes the colorof lead, like the elephant whom a child with somepeanuts lifts by the trunk in his hand in the swirlingdust, so that it appears he has lifted a monumentor a city with all its pain. The bodies that seemtransparent are made of an ice so pure it appearsto be glass sweating, where you, desiring another,glimpse your own face that weighs nothing and is burning.