Archive for December, 2013

Sanskrit for Christmas

December 24, 2013

Lokah Samasta

On a Christian Holiday

December 23, 2013

The wind, a shudder from the wolf,
its suddenness, sharp as scissors, dumb
as blood. That which had sheltered her had turned
from clay into a papier-mâché fortress, from rock
to blasphemous ribbons. The wolf could be her throat—
history could be a romance better said
than silenced. She knew that.
She knew that the sunset is red or real only
if we can see it and speak to it.
But it was not her voice that saddled up
the horse, for today was a Christian holiday.
A slip of a girl was about to ride
her gallant stallion off the planet
into what could be the moon, but wasn’t.

A Portrait

December 12, 2013

Of a gasp. Not so much for her beauty,
as for her sojourn. Her temporality. Buttress
and mistress of the night. The Santa Lucia.

AKA St. Lucy, painted a thousand years ago
by an unknown master who never met
his subject. St. Lucy as frozen pigment.

Or so she seems. We find it hard
to imagine her mouth inside another’s mouth,
her love lost in another’s house.

For what would she think of us now
in our conflation of virginity with the light
in her distant yet knowing eyes?

An organ starts to play. Tonight is St. Lucy’s
festival. The wind blows her hair.
The stars burn tonight as candles.

We begin to tremble, as if
unconvinced by her portrait, as she
begins to move back into her unpainted flesh.

Surely we are right to resist another possession,
one we can’t quite believe in: a light ahead,
the tunnel’s end, all souls, no rest.