Wednesday, January 26, 2005

More poetry, posted before my editor's eye kicks in (as part of my new year's bid for upfrontness in writing).


At twelve,
I knew something of the longing
That marks adolescence.

I wanted to belong, yes,
But more: I wanted.
I wanted.

The sad-eyed Jesus
In the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum:
A laundered Kurt Cobain,
Jim Morrison, alive,
I am not like the other girls;
I know Latin.

I was twelve
And eager to understand
What made my sister so interesting,
Even though she was only two years older
And I was unusually precocious,
If a bit obtuse.

So I opted for early confirmation
The first step, I was sure
In my eventual sublimation.

And in my confirmation class,
Filled with graduate students
And doctors of Theology
And a man who I now realize
Couldn’t have been more than twenty,
But who was much older than twelve

I broke down
The night my goldfish died,
Though I prayed to God for a miracle.

To Abelard, Heloise
(unfinished, I think)

To her master,
nay father,
to her husband,
nay brother;
his handmaid,
nay daughter,
his spouse,
nay sister:
to Abelard, Heloise*

Relations, we call them:
These lines run between us.

Spoken as though
There were something
In speaking,
An essence called forth;
A foundation laid
In the wilderness.

In the begininning was the word
A breath over waters.

In the beginning,
This morning
You breathed
And I woke up
Awaiting definition.

* From The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, trans. and intro. by Betty Radice, (New York: Penguin, 1974)

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