After

I

I remember the breath,
the whisper,
the aura of that room.

I remember the surprise,
the leaving,
the scene.

It’s OK if you define my
reaction as hysterical. For
hysteria has literary antecedents.

Let’s recap:

In the longboat the oarsman is burning;
on the windmill a soul spreads itself for
prayer; in the belfry a rope appeals to
a man on the bottom stair.

Metaphors that give shape to the first verse:

Lipstick tattoos of struggle move like collages;
bright colors fade;
a sigh goes out of a pillow.

II

A line forms and partners dance with partners
in the suspense room. What is more hopeful
than to gamble that this moment will last long
enough for the next – before the shimmers dim.

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2 responses to “After

  1. you can almost hear this one breathe.

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