Alice Oswald

Walking Past a Rose This June Morning

is my heart a rose?    how unspeakable
is my heart a rose?    how unspeakable
is my heart folded to dismantle?    how unspeakable
is a rose folded in its nerves?    how unspeakable
is my heart secretly overhanging us?    pause
is there a new world?    known only to breathing?
now inhale what I remember.    pause.    how unbreathable

this is my heart out.    how unspeakable
this is my risen skin.    how unthinkable
this is my tense touch-sensitive heart
this is its mass made springy by the rain
this loosening compression of hope.    how unworkable
is an invisible ray lighting up your lungs?    how invisible?
is it a weightless rapture?    pause.    how weightless?

now trace a breath-map in the air.    how invisible?
is a rose a turning cylinder of senses?    how unspeakable
is this the ghost of the heart, the actual
the inmost deceleration of its thought?    how unspeakable
is everything still speeding around us?    pause
is my heart the centre?    how unbearable
is the rain a halo?    how unbearable