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Interim: Two Poems
Since the last post here, I gave birth and have been occupied with loving and getting to know my child. Though this Substack is intended for essays on the arts, recently I’ve been writing only poetry—have had, for a stretch, no inclination towards prose. As a one-off, please indulge me: a new poem, and after it, an older one.
Latch I Do you know the way to the feast? You who have read all the books, read each word in every one, hungry for what cannot be found there. You who have touched every other brick, placed shard and shard in place, hoarded the years, left no stone unclassified, waiting for the earth to be more solid. Is it yet? How overaware you seem, forever naming each thing: subject subject object object, or neither, or both. But what of the feast, meanwhile, and being there? II Two parts and not one of us thinks about the where, and how, and how long for. She needs feeding and so the baby is fed, is fastened, fastens herself to her mother. Having a body takes practice. Instinct does not preclude bewilderment, no. Here bewilderment follows it, close, a breath away only. Complaints, coaxings, her hand or hands interfering, insistent nipple, insistent tiny mouth, our few square inches of chaos, of soft incoherence, are quieted when baby at once latches. More than once, one breast impossible with milk, exorbitantly full, wet from a shower, needy, naked, I’ve rushed to her.
The Rocks You cannot make a metaphor of war. I will be here forever, saying so. Having come from the place where bones melt how could I long for anywhere, telling you with my straight rock face poetry should take us away from here. And what would I long for anyway, an earth more habitable to rocks? The dead need us here, loving them. Why else do we sit all day in the sun, feeling its rays, warming, lifeless, if not for them. Could you love all the dead? Ask us why there are no scenes in nature. You cannot count the directions of our love.