Thursday, April 26, 2012

Poem: "The Dream Child"

Complete first draft. Decided yesterday to take away the section headings.


The Dream Child

—so what will Baby/be tomorrow?—

            Antonia Pozzi, “The Dreamed Life”


Who speaks to me speaks
to a stir—
in air, a ripple
of veil—perhaps—
speaking
caused the ripple,
hard to tell.

But body is sensed—
joy—as possibility,
everything small
but perfect,
toes,
lips capable
of taking
ravishment—giving.

They walk
the woods as others
make love,
the man who
will be sent away
to Rome,

the girl who will lean
back on grass—
trembling
until the slight wind
drops.

These children
take up so much space.
They tug, they push.
They stride ahead, expecting the world
to give way.
Even when they tumble,
they cover
ground.

I watch behind the elm
and step out—
a shadow.

Only when I open
my throat—
to call, to hiss—
do I
occupy
a place,
as when the sound
of the sea takes up the room
of a shell,
or when sky is skylark.

In their rage,
the dead break
things—soup bowls,
flour mills.
I can see
them, foreheads
burning,
but they can’t
see—the unborn.

They think they are
looking at a loaf
of fire, water
becoming soup.

Whatever else
I am, I am
the earth-clod
on which my parents step
together, her feet
on his feet.

Her fingers weave
between his fingers
like ropes
around a raft.

White wisps—
on a second
look—join
as cloud
and sail off.

I am
left behind.

My young mother, my young corpse,
black album
of images—I stroke:
girl graduate,
political meetings,
Alpine flowers,
gay ribbons.

You have baby
photographs.
I—have—nothing.

You call me
Herald,
but know me
as entombed waters.

The pen dips
in the waters

and writes its
message of love.

To be held
—inside—
your body,

to be fed
by sun

to be cooled
by goodness,

to be born…

to redeem
and be redeemed.

Annunzio
my mother calls in the dark.
I run
towards the name
of my father’s
dead brother.

I hear her sweet
urgency
but I can’t find her
in the woods.

I run
not with a marguerite
but bayonet.

Because my father loves my mother’s eyes,
I have her blue eyes.
The more he loves, the more blue.

I have her heart
that beats so fast that I am afraid
it will burst.

At night my sex
opens and opens—
impure lips—
to swallow

the moon.

A blessing,
a blessing and—dismissal
of what has already left.

From the interior
of the church—
you see a fountain
shooting up
and toppling,
at a distance too far
to be heard.

The mind has to
provide the music. 

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