Thursday, February 27, 2014

River and Plough

1. 
This side of the river has been inhabited for 25,000 years.
A grassy stop for amber between the Baltic Sea
and Mycenae

(we have passed around those spiders trapped
in sap,

we labored and bloomed together
through the Bronze age.

We told a lot of stories then, about birth, the sun's ascent,
and love the phenomenon -which made kings of ploughmen,
and the cruel black bird which tore the eyes from 
a braver face, that open face, that estuary-
it shone even at night

it held me in its hand)

the river now is still green and wide, it touches the feet
of gravity hills, where all our fears roll upward 

and we still gather honey for our broken skin there.
Our wounds still hurt but not so bad as before.
Not so bad as all that. Dusk heals all that.


2.
I almost feel as if I am standing at the edge of
a greater mercy

as if I am standing at the edge of
a silt-lined tributary,

and I remember how watergrass feels,
so flossy, trampled down in the muck,

walking on rocks, falling down hard,

as brief time slipped like a slender trout
past my ankles.

And brief time seems not so vicious now,
just a reflection of our rolling chests,
our steady breath,

our rotating seasons.


3.
Young women,
crouched with mal de mer and
lovestuck,

Still grapple for the body of the tempest.

The most frightening part is
waiting for the fall,

the best is a rib on their rib.
We think of the ploughman,
and the dream of woven tendons,

our fingers spread wide as
sun rays against bowed backs

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