The Reason

It was, I thought, my trick to staying sane
when I’d rather have been blown to smithereens,
so guarded it like any fundamentalism
as if it were my ticket, if not to fame, to heaven.

Then, one day, a name (I can’t remember which
illness like a fate) switched places with my reason
but instead of going instantly insane,
hidden dynamism sieved my brain in both directions.

Where facts unstuck autumn leaves blew in
gradients of sunshine, unreasoning
each elementary yellow, red, and brown
into shallows of the most enviable Mediterreanean.

But this was the clear fall air of our own town.
It blew through the space where facts had been
with a lucidity that refused to drown them.
As if to finish knowing were also to be known.

Danielle Chapman

Danielle Chapman

Danielle Chapman is the author of Delinquent Palaces (Northwestern University Press, 2015). Her essays and criticism can be found in The Oxford American, Commonweal, and Poetry. She teaches Shakespeare and creative writing at Yale.
Danielle Chapman

Latest posts by Danielle Chapman (see all)

Author: Danielle Chapman

Danielle Chapman is the author of Delinquent Palaces (Northwestern University Press, 2015). Her essays and criticism can be found in The Oxford American, Commonweal, and Poetry. She teaches Shakespeare and creative writing at Yale.