Negative Capability

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“Negative Capability,” by Yusef Komunyakaa,  appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review’s Summer 1999 issue.
We bring you this poem from The MQR Archives.
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The honeysuckle vines are certain
They’ll be here tomorrow morning,
Unhushed scent reaching into next month,
As I rest the scythe against a stump
To sharpen the curved blade.
Their green surety. My uncertainty:
That pain in the chest could return
In the middle of this job, a ferryman
Singing One more river to cross.
A miracle defines itself. I love
What doesn’t reveal every seam,
Every droplet—when doubt owns tongue
& clitoris, heart & penis. I love
Mystery, & hope I never touch naked
Threads of reason to answer the slimy,
Clueless snout probing the dark.

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