Archive for February, 2014

Sentenced

February 21, 2014

Those first words would disturb her.
More a fragrance than a sentence,
more a lisp, than a hiss. Just  slip
into a farcical exoskeleton,
the mere costume of which—
the forked tongue tasting the air
beyond all human needs or noses—
suggests the smell of termite nests
amid the posies, a pose of earth
as it rises out of its mold to breathe
the altered air, the spring breezes.
Why shouldn’t your every sentence start
with the formality of a birth?
Why not conjugate before they tear it apart?

Penelope on the Beach [For Valentine’s Day]

February 9, 2014

It was only day. It was Ulysses and it was not.
—Wallace Stevens[i]  

When Penelope bathes, she wades
into the wake of the wave he has left behind.
Her hands still shake remembering that his hands
had grasped nothing, nothing of her mind.
She’d said she must hide so as not to seem
to be bidding him goodbye. Transformation
would be her suitor now, not her guest.
He’d said, if she went swimming in the sea,
her mist would complete a marriage vow,
one made to him and to the approaching sun.

How bright the morning is.
How brisk the wind.
Penelope was on the beach
when the light flashed
and the earth cracked apart.
Ten thousand birds lifted her into the air.
Who or what was out there?
Was it the mist or Penelope’s whisper
he heard throughout the stars?
 I will be a different person when
you return, my love.
I will still be your fate,
but I will know you only by your scars.


[i] The World as Mediation.