This woman radiates looking as if gathering energy from the horizon, long line in a distance where foothills dwindle into mounds preparing to rise again, donning their outlines while land huddles, contracting miles. Where horizon begins, the boundaries of her body begin to grow invisible.
Objects mirrored in her eye pass through the black hole in her pupil’s middle
so eye takes on body, body enters eye.
Air that bears her body makes it difficult to see how it’s already disappearing. Out of the loneliness around it, her body creates another history, a world made in its image.
Too Much and Not Enough
“We know too much and not enough to touch place.” —Cid Corman
Your silhouette falls across the ice as if even this bare landscape were you, were what I look for.
Sea a blue sheen like rippled glass wind burns into silver pages. Air sour with the smell of
thousands of penguins while far away glaciers calve great booms of neon blue. We walked up an icy slope:
It’s too big, you said, gazing out toward cliffs and light, wide panorama of sea. Beside you, I blinked windy sunlight.
telling us apart telling how we part mirror twins words double back measure of missing body imagine sphere stirred or wobbling scribbled over rasping on broken sides seeking with its halves to spin away a single orb a slant dust chiseling light
I. One way to keep a body light is to live in abstractions, to love the collective—mankind, mammals— Sleeping together can multiply grounds for disappointment.
I hungered for ground underfoot, for air, as I sat on steps to the canal beside the file of smoky palaces, waiting for a question to walk by.
II. Nothing much walked by so there was neither antidote to depression nor flag of blessing, only endless questions as I brooded on the violinist.
On August nights the violinist played or recited poems by Celan singsong as I lay in bed, keeping me from studying Amhara, language I would need in Tadjoura.
III. In Tadjoura letters crossed over so slowly, I succumbed to heat yet still set out for the interior, caught up in body’s syntax.
You love the beast. A map in hand worth atlases of ruse, you scramble up a ladder of selves. Too late to call out, “It’s too late!”
Too late to hoist a double axe, let the wild god leap out. You’re in this maze, sacral knot, too late to retreat.
Mistress of the Labyrinth, no loophole of eyes for you to writhe through. How it frets—that knobby thread—