Scene. In the middle of the myth, in the middle of a life
Enter a Poet, buried in the earth every two to three
generations, progressively cleansed of pagan-Judaic-
Christian-Moslem, etc., traditions and increasingly
Here is my staff and here my shell. I am naked beneath
this skin from stone to sky and back; and you are watching
me lost without you.
You pretend to be a tree. Of course, you do. I have pretended
many names before meeting you; and a tree is an obelisk
covered with hieroglyphs (now indecipherable), but it is
also a root becoming leaves.
Each of us is root becoming leaves.
You, for example, are my rosette. Inside the vaulting of
you, your leaves never lost,
having agreed with myself this once not to leave bread
crumbs even though I reach for my pocket when I can’t hear
or feed or feel you. Ophelia.
Fortunately, there is music between sleep.
Fortunately, between kisses between shoulders, your faint
cynicism and shallows cannot protect you.
They only muffle shadows; and shadows may feed on you
but do not feed you. I cannot be a shadow, however
the obscurity. There you are, and there you are. Your voices
fall at the middle, spreading open upon a flattened spine:
Kiss me between here and here when the light is dark as
Words flown or drawn from the womb of every tree, every
turning, every dream of every turning which, of course, is
We are grove and spring, patches of words transcribed,
backlit and flickering, heightened by shadows including
the shadows of our last and first meetings and the shadow
The smudge of your left shoe remains. Its familiarity
encourages me to ask, When do past lives begin? Is this
walk from chapel to leaf to leaf
a beginning, for example?
And, so, as an ewe, I dreamed the eve of the fourth day,
licking at the lip of all waters in the west of an island
(presently England?). I saw a light reflecting softly as if
from a belly receiving a child, and I awoke to the length of
your continent and half globe prominent.
The longing of the eyes for its tail. There may be other
lifetimes (as a blossoming appears each March along the same
measure of branch), but these hours are diffident, too young
to remember the longing of the eyes for the peregrine.
Words rattle and fall, though we chase
and debate and kick to keep them aloft. They do not die
our child will inherit them as her child will inherit us.
Here is a little, easily illustrated story that can be told
to her: In the church of the Jews the wafer is square;
in the church of the Romans the wafer is round.
In every church the wine is red and the bird white.
Intinction is steeping the body in wine to receive the two
at once. Beneath the dome of sky, the cage of the heart is
square; the skull of the spirit round; the blood red,
the sclera (as albumen) white. Every god and creator
of gods knows this as the first day (before
mythology, before empire, before the dissolution
of empire and its mythologies).
This is what she has taught me, now that she has chosen
and been born to us, and I guard her translucence.
© 2009 Fammerée
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