Friday, February 14, 2014

We Always Have Things To Do

for Maggie Estep

“I would not think to touch
the sky with two arms”
                                    - Sappho

Oh no, not like this, not yet, with prophetic weathermen
singing their dirges of ice. Winter’s closed off attitude –
blank space. The erasure of entire fields, faces lost to scarves,
elegant thoughts to scientific sacrifice.
I’m not sure if this is right,
or even if the thoughts were
that eloquent, and what’s wrong
with a little Bill Nye, some blood
in what feels like a bloodless art?

I’m not sure if this is any good.
I’m not sure. Here. What can you tell me?
I am sure that snow drifts,
and other people’s memories float
between my own: a Lego lodges
in my throat, I skate across the pond,
I once sang in an opera, added graffiti
to the dome of a courthouse.
I forget myself, windblown
in the stories of others. No,
I remake myself. No, that’s bullshit.
I re-forget myself by turning the page,
by hating what I love, all of it. The words
that pile up at my door, shivering,
and the ones that sit at the end of the bed, waiting
for me to line them up into meaning. Their eyes glow.
They snarl. Their teeth are lovely, see?

Tell me a story and tell it now,
the story of a journey, a transformation,
a bit of dust in a storm.
Make the dust want something big,
to have arms to touch the sky with,
to think and breathe. Yes, make it breathe.
Please. Before my heart stops,
and before yours does too,
tell it.

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