MOVED TO . . .
Moved to a town whose streets bore Fuel & Mineral Names:
Coal Silver Lead rising like ocean but desert high mountains
rule-straight horizon burning off day's heat & fatigues.
Litmus nightfall took our moods
A cappella for a donkey's age
I sang alone:
eating a small WingFat rock cornish game hen from mainland
Hours piled upon ingots, fused gold during nights, liquefying,
melting into cinders of dawn.
I moved for a number of reasons:
Mother Writing pain.
Religion which I wanted to be calm & clean as an Amish
chair, harpback wood, painted ivory.
There were my possessions:
Piled high crates of wood: they caught the fire of sunset.
If I have not been a good sister & daughter during life,
Perhaps I will be after death.
From that altitude, I saw, like mica,
layers of family pain
ripples of ocean rolling in
strata of blue ridge mountains in old negatives
Strife harnessed my energy again & again.
Corresponded with a woman crossing the land wearing Oxblood
Chukkas but she never came.
Carrying letters from Brush Creek, Missouri which trickled to
The steel rail used to carry us home.
My desk the Nazarene.
I wanted to take life by the throat.
Wanted to conquer the alphabet
wrest a poem
a drop of water
from a desert fountain.
In the city whose streets were beaten goldleaf-thin,
married a girl people took for a Catholic, a former nun
knocking over the netsuke in the hallway with her kimono
The translucent flesh of an iris unfolding.
Immigrating North, we were wound in red tape mummified in
Visas health certificates registration
Wearing my Irish jacket "Examiner #9"
My way or the Highway
Permanently from our blood driven.
The direction of language drove me home.
A little city was burning
level with my eyes: those villages in radio tubes I pointed
out to my sister as a child:
orange sodium. Burning a brace of candles. In Cajunland or on
Yankee Soil & under its spells.
Prospero & mineral.
Back to my desk the Nazarene.
Jeanne the Jesuit. . .letters.
What weight given learning.
Weight given suffering.
photographing white-bulb lamps
"The color calibration
Tends to go
You lose a bit of resolution" she says, "with this
Struck by a fatal blaze. Innocenzia!
Pale lemon yellow (the "almost" colour of a big Italianate
stuccoed house just east of St Charles)
"Lemon and indigo
"The light lime green of maples rushing toward full
The turquoise on the inside of segments of abandoned chitin
The Popsicle orange of the furry backside of a subspecies
A friend answers me when I ask, "What are your favorite
When a woman tells a man how she feels about a marriage
Usually he is sad and surprised.
So late so much comes to light.
Having a man is sharing one.
Walking in sun weak as watered wine she does not complain.
Trying trying to reach my sister:
Instead of a dark curtain a scrim.
Nazareth. The Nazarene. North of Caroline.
Our building has a silver rim
Silver as the tooling on the Torah
Grandmother brought back from Tel Aviv
to her thirsting
granddaughters clear glasses of water:
Flashflood of psalms.