Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dark in the City

Under a broad sky
with both feet falling,
head swayed, ears open,
that young heart broken,
crazed and unable
to sleep with so much
left to do before
turning twenty-two:
learn to let words go
through my ten fingers
and find those that move
and then go beyond
what they said, I knew
nothing immortal,
how I knew I was
human, like all those
on elevators.
I remembered birth
imagining death,
kept it to myself
(old voices echoed)
so it would be where
I could find it when
the time came to talk
but keep the secret.
I was in search of
the first metaphor
memory would yield
and so my mother
loved my father’s hair,
his hair was so black
it turned white before
his death when hers, red,
tinged with auburn, died
. . . chalaqui and eire
those ancestors
were. In the city
the first time I turned
a corner and found
where rain all winter,
spring and autumn fell,
where summers were gone
over the mountains
before my mind fell
into my body,
my two hands reached down
to bring to surface
all I first knew
to take to the fall
when the door opened.

(7 January 2011)

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