Thursday, February 15, 2007

POEM - A Great Descent

Everything begins with a great descent:
Like birth or the night that rolls out day.
I face sloping ice fields as hard as whispered truths,
This undulating white, the beard of some
Old testament God, bending to no one,
Forgiving no one, wagging a starched
Finger at me.

Hold it gently – this view – on a teabag string.
Dip it into bubbling sunlight, steep it long and still.
Eventually, you witness how summer
Has been blanched out completely,
How it leaves a lack like a great yawn.
Winter is that season all the others talk about
Behind her back in smug, furtive tones of exclusion.
But stand outside, in paper mâché light
And you understand how this is a season
Of shortened things – you dare not stay out
For too long because of how much
It takes out of you.
Mailboxes, benches, street signs -
Even living things have left exteriors behind
And what is left is the “thing-ness” of things,
Cutouts - cardboard barricades,
Bereft of juices, the bone but not the fat.

Everything begins with a great descent:
Like night brandishing a thin lipped
Pinkness, who kisses me like some winsome stranger
So hard
That I blush from embarrassment,
Tightly holding what I hope to be.

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