Friday, April 30, 2010
So You Think You Don't Like Poetry
Today's special: two poems for the price of one!
It's the last day of April, and glorious outside. Therefore instead of agonizing at my computer over which Dorianne Laux poem to post, I'm going to post two short ones. And then I'm going to get myself the hell outside to enjoy the day.
Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor--
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn't elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That's how it is sometimes--
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you're just too tired to open it.
After the stroke all she could say
was Venezuela, pointing to the pitcher
with its bright blue rim, her one word
command. And when she drank the clear
water in and gave the glass back,
it was Venezuela again, gratitude,
maybe, or the word now simply
a sigh, like the sky in the window,
the pillows a cloudy definition
propped beneath her head. Pink roses
dying on the bedside table, each fallen
petal a scrap in the shape of a country
she'd never been to, had never once
expressed interest in, and now
it was everywhere, in the peach
she lifted, dripping, to her lips,
the white tissue in the box, her brooding
children when they came to visit,
baptized with their new name
after each kiss. And at night
she whispered it, dark narcotic
in her husband's ear as he bent
to listen, her hands fumbling
at her buttons, her breasts,
holding them up to the light
like a gift. Venezuela, she said.