Monday, March 10, 2008

First Light

What time is it, sweet? The alarm is chirping
but our bodies are dark with sleep, and heavy
as if we're running for the uptown bus.
Habituated to hours of daylight saving,
our dark bodies are slow to become body,
slower, in the new dark, to become us.

This is your chest, firm, hairy, and your chest
tells me this crook of feeling is my hand,
hair-tickled fingers, muscle-matching palm.
And this nail brush scratching down to my, yes,
crotch, this gentle catch, it is your hand.
You are the morning's first mindful alarm.

The door opens. We settle in our seats
and try to catch our breath with all that running.
Familiar places, people also, flash
past--tall plane trees, homeless men, cross streets--
stones to an ascetic, to artists stunning,
to unobstrusive love, first, light, then, ash.

3 comments:

Shropshirelad said...

Another excellent poem. I love the subject matter, and the articulation. The internal pararhyme of "catch" and "crotch," is particularly compelling. Such a strange meeting of words. Wilfred Owen would be pleased.

And then there is the delightful play on "catch" both as something caught, and "catch" as a release for a trap, or cabinet door. Nice.

One quibble however. Line 3. "As if we're.." is awkward. The explicitness of the simile adds nothing to the poem and breaks up the rhythm.

Try a comma after heavy and an "already" to begin line 3 and see how that works prosodically.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi lad,
Thanks for being kind. I will sleep on your suggestion, and wake up thinking it must be right.

Shropshirelad said...

O Reformed One,

I am rarely kind when it comes to poems. It is just that I think I know a good poem when I see one.

And I have seen several new and original ones here.

Enjoy Amsterdam!