Your Body a Mountain You now Become a Single Thread, Shining

What is that sound?

A gull’s cry behind a cathedral bell?
A cackle of spark under your kiss?
I strain my ear to listen;
I am smothered under memory.

If the bellow of night broke this quiet,
It would be merely silence replacing the silent
Widowing of this heart;
I seize the lute like a lover,
But can not pull a string.

Nevermind that I’ve not washed my body in four days.
Nevermind that I’ve not eaten, and barely drank.

What is it that stole away with me?
An unholy ghost, clutching my shoulders—praise be it;
Perhaps I’ll die and go to emptiness.

For what thing, of matter or memory,
Could follow me there? I will genuflect,
Fold in two and hope no god of any kind finds me weeping.
Let darkness subjugate me, and snuff me like a flame.

But there is the issue of the sound. A noise
Like crinkling.

Moaning is the song I rise to.
A stick breaking in the wood, my heart stands up.
I can not help it; I must be drawn out of the house,
I wander into the trees and seek what I have lost yet
Not shaken.

I come upon a pool.
I come upon your face.
I reach hand out, and with pale fingers
Brush your eyelashes and remember.

It is like a bed.
It is like a grave.
What divine fruit is produced from your pupil,
I can hardly say.
But I open my mouth, and you pull me from my prison.
It is like being born, only, I have no recollection of not living.

Without my body,
I shatter like a dry rose in your palm.

At last I rest; you are as thin to me
As a single thread of long, black hair.
You shine, and at last, at last, I am
Alright. Sleeping.

First published on Poet’s Corner June 1st, 2016

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