21 July 2008

"reading in the dark"

Would that I could explain this one to you. It just . . . happened. I'm a little afraid to talk about it, in fact -- my scalpels are too dull, my hands too shaky for dissection -- so I'll leave it alone for now.

If you've got any ideas, though -- I'm all ears.



reading in the dark


the moon held up by a thread,
or more than one, a marionette—
and the sky, fingers.

a text of stars, a lawful, certain blaze—

loopholed, flawless—

who doesn’t doubt everything, in this dark?

who can read? don’t read
without light, my mother says,

you’ll strain your
lovely glassless eyes.

hold the white gauze
of morning over your mouth—

it covers, nearly,
the tiny cuts left, invisible

as fiberglass on your lips, left
by what was
said over a bottle of wine, over
the raft of darkness

between you and another.
neither of you can agree

which one is the north star, the scoop
of light, and everyone points elsewhere, without
compass or chart.

who wouldn’t doubt what you heard
come out of his mouth?

each star playing its last white note.

flawless, his logic, his starred map:

the text of argument, full of tunnels,
escape routes, pinpoints of light
that don’t add up

to a moon.



(Not yet published. Please tell all your publishing friends.)

4 comments:

Jessica said...

Holy CRAP that is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Oh Sally Sally!

So good!!!!!

SO GOOD!

thank you.

sallylynn said...

thanks, dear jessica!

you've made my day.

mamie said...

it is lovely. saying so feels a bit like that movie "groundhog day." i read your poems. i blink. i say how lovely they are.

but this, this one is different. more spare than any other i've seen. words taken through a flower sifter. naked. not just beautiful. appallingly so.

sallylynn said...

thank you, mamie -- you know that i appreciate that, always, from you. groundhog day or no. :)

and the spareness feels strange, but i like the skeletal thing just now... so we'll stick with it. for a while. see what happens, what naked bones we find. :)