Un-martyr me, says St. Orphan-Heart.
Raven steals the light—the shy one
hard to hold, like a chip of diamond
in a jeweler's tweezer. You dazzle
my mind, Midday-Light-Slippery.
The pens huddled and bound with
a rubber band ate, dressed the mountains
in water, pelted the windows
with rain. Did you notice
the freeze dryer evaporated our lives,
and just as with carnations, it left
the color perfect? Glued brittle flowers
in store-bought wreaths.
The Bell-mare leads horses away
from the barn; She also leads herdsmen
up Monte Terminillo. I'm reacting
To a cheese and tomato sandwich.
What a huge and terrible sandwich
In the airport, and Man-Standing-Near-
The-Shoe-Store has a bite taken out of
his ear, asks me to marry him as we pass
through customs. And Man-Who-Wonders-
With-His-Sandwich is no longer in sight.
The moon, low on the way here. And fog
defines a marshland. Incommensurable
feels so unlike Life-on-Earth. Does this have
to do with her ability to move,
She wonders. Lewis sings. Damion
paints hazard-yellow stripes horizontally
on the lip of each of the trail's steps. (This
isn't to say that Damion and Lewis are
not enormously fat. They are.) Our conversation
drifts to the particulars of Tony's & Marie's
lives. It's best to go in the morning.
By afternoon the wind can be too strong.
We walked long and hard uphill
past groups of men on bicycles,
groups of women in bakeries. We crossed through
yards, fenced dogs barking. All day we walked,
sometimes humming, sometimes alone, sometimes
in cackles and descriptions of potato dishes,
neighbors with gardens, whole moon nights,
grade-school cruelties, the mind's huffing
vortex. Two men work with sheep.
The highway traffic miles below, unsteady.
Six blue marbles in a box on the computer
desk, which is next to a sofa and a chair,
both draped in blue spreads. Blue birds,
(they must be), chirp from somewhere beyond
the barred window, beyond the wall, beyond
the castle garden on one side, the road that leads
from the forest to the grassy meadow, where
bareback, the self, that muscled beauty, comes
fully into its own will on the other.
© draft, Denise C. Banker, all rights reserved