barren as a citadel in snow, as a grave in bloom, as a cage without a heart, a truth

June 25, 2011

As if skin was made to be pressed against with lips, as if
these things give pleasure, heat warmth tingling of joy
lines of an arm  skin against a mouth that cares  warm, o warm

it is a pretense

it is a fury

it is a sound and a tale told by- only me,
wrapped in my blankets
seated in front of the television with dead things in my eyes
and lost seeds dropped in the dark
my hands gone, cut off
my heart pasted to the ribs like foil
my face too round for good things
me too old for news
just   me.

God of the white darkness, wrap me in the cold
like newspaper with a lost fish, a cold thing from the sea
buried in snow and forgetting, relief and despair
pressed between my lips like an old coin.
a rusted spoon, silver with hope
with the breath that never comes.
dear God, the green things grow over my old bones
and the grave of my skin is still, silent as ploughed fields
as winter, fallow as a mapped land
as a burnt tree
a lost thing

o a lost thing. in the dark it cries.
it says, lead me home
God of my happenstance

wrap me in white blankets and nestle me in the crook
of the newborn linden tree, God
redeemer and provider, safe grave and grave lover
keep me safe for ever from the things that would
pluck out my heart and feed it to the birds.
pluck out my eyes and feed them to the birds.
I would my heart were barren
as a wish
that never comes, except when you are a child
and hope makes things come true, hope works
hope reveals things you have never seen in a world
so fragmented with light it is so hard to breathe.

breathe it in, child of God
breathe in the snow.

you are choosing it again, you know
the long path to the nunnery, the abbey walls
closing in about your heart.
you will shut yourself away
and the world will sleep.

too many lies have been born in this dark
perhaps it is a temporary refuge
perhaps it is safer
this whiteness that is no home
this barren sleep.

lend me your ears, Lord God of morning
Lord God who makes all things new.
Do not consign my heart to the flames
or to the easier paths, where closing up shop is best
and the white towels lie across my chest like a hurdle
like bandages, like exhale stopped, lost, banned. Saved.
Save me. I will not walk to the nunnery.
I will not step for the dark.
But I cannot go on stumbling through the wood
lost in the murk of the valley I have never understood
blind child, lost in the marsh.

Dread God, lead me
kind God, take my hand
father God, find me
do not let me drown in my own silence
or my own desire

let me walk on water
let me trust you.
help me.
help me.

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