Poem for Thursday, May 24

May 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

I Did Not Hymn Beauty

“There were those we let die yesterday, when the living
was easy, when we buried all our precious things in sand:
the raw matter of us, locked in place to make a life.

They evanesce for the sake of less to see, different
in kind from water slopped in wine that was something
somehow not eclipsing thought. And I forgot how
coolly you brush past those bottles racked for sale.

But you’re dead now. Clean yourself off before
you swallow up the premise, squatting there
in a soft ebb from my anathema, you
and it both pushed out from my throat.”

Moonlight bruised and stained the sidewalk, hearing this.
She drew his picture after a delay of years, in soot
and desiccants and lack of ceremony. His stupor
was the shadow of one blighted elm across the kitchen
where he dumped a quart of bourbon down the sink,
still more capable of hearing word set off from word.

Her hand closed tightly on a formless lump, the fire
burning downward into sympathetic loam to leave
the ear alone – a pink mouth into dark – remains
of a pressure wave through matte sand, and noise
we made rising to our knees, in the compact hour of
eclipse, when mind’s more block than wind
through which I suck inertia off the unhurt parts,
an allopathy of the icon whose spirit is a bone-
deep curse on us, known in all our numbers.

There was no roof, but there were dandelions.
They remember every imp beneath the floor.
An earth absorbs the shame, and groans.

-Taylor Brady, from For I Know Not What I Did Last Summer (Trafficker Press, 2012)


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