I remember the breath,
the aura of that room.
I remember the surprise,
It’s OK if you define my
reaction as hysterical. For
hysteria has literary antecedents.
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.
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.