After a loss you live
with your gasp, your gaze,
with your hungry mouth as you lift the fork.
Something Sane. Open the door.
A guest sits down at the kitchen table.
Washing evening dishes:
something simple, something sane.
Water dreams over your wrist,
your hand, a round
Something Simple. Night, rusty fire escape.
Even the rain: sane.
Urgent street voices; screech
of a hinge. Simple. A clanking
somebody is closing a gate
or opening one.
In the dream I walk with my teacher across a field.
It is day, the field
a dying brown.
Lifted by sudden wind we stand
in midair, our wool coats hanging
like heavy curtains.
When we drop back down, our boots in the dust,
I ask, Why did that happen?
She says, Because we saw Christ.
I say, I didn't see him, remembering
the sycamores at the edges.
She says, It was because of the resurrection.
No, I say. It was Jerusalem.
Keep me close to the flaw,
to the cracked soil. Don't let me
fly up again; keep me living
inside the laws and the lightning, planted
and learning, leaning
into this difficult field.
A sea change is necessary, and I'll need seduction,
a tug through language in my belly's earth floor.
a garden in Eden to the East
and took and placed
the person there.
The questions are asked: Where was Adam taken from?
How did God bring Adam to Eden? Was Adam moved
like a chess piece?
An answer: God moved, seduced Adam with beautiful
language into Eden.
Word-shiver my shells, my salt
nearer to you.
I am a salamander frail and pale red, and you
place rich leaves and pebbles before me, drawing
my tender same-color feet to touch
each dry curve, scratch the wrinkled places, your sounds
of wind and rumpled lake, scrape of dry twigs.
Speak speak to me.
Evoke yourself in me. Blossom my chest open with text,
My bike became a horse
pitching me off
onto the steep, unforgiving concrete,
sudden and alone, small stones pressed into my cheek,
the rubber wheels hot horse hooves. Earth pulse
through my skin. Black descending dust.
In the small space between tears I saw
my sanity: blue lights among timber, broken marble,
calm resting in ruins, light playing
among the jagged remains.
When I arrived back again,
the voiceless horse became the bike's thin singing metal
and myself, resting in the wreck.
There is a refusal to mourn
in me, a failure
to give up hope, a rotting
There is a river. I'll dip
my hands in, open
I never mourned, never
allowed a falling
the way divine sparks slanted
when the world was made dipping
under rocks, resting in meadows and seas, leaning
among fish, grasses, and dust.
Is mourning a handing over,
a letting go of the steel grip? How to ungrasp
like the trapeze artist who opens her hand,
letting go the bar
before grasping the otherthat moment between the bars. . .
Let me rise like a great white bird out of the net, let me
climb into the underwhisper.
I have had moments that make hope
There is a river. I have never
Who Releases the Bound, Who Straightens the Bent
Underneath this missing another
missing: familiar, unremembered. The mirror
stares at my bed, the bookshelves have nothing
to say to me. This longing
hangs heavy, the taste of it
filling the back of my mouth. Black rain
suspends past shut windows and brick.
A breathing in my dress
when I bend to the drawer for a shirt,
when air slides through the slit
under the unopened window and reaches my naked elbow.
Let the longing lift north attaching
to the next rung and the next until I speak
give me quick
transparent noticing, close.
What is real?
Thin bones glow
in my ankle, my rib,
a hand rests above the roof
of my house, above the oak beside it.
Blessed are you who releases the bound.
Ache in my unwinged thighs, my belly an unblessed field.
Who straightens the bent
over. Your many names are stuck in my throat.