Friday, September 5, 2014

HOW TO GRIEVE A DREAM


First:  acknowledge that it is a dream
you grieve−
nothing more.

I have just that.
Nothing more.  I have just begun. 
Have only just stood
in the hollow made by that assent
staring into the void, turning
my soiled hands around and around
to see if I can recognize the dirt
woven in with my veins.
Have only just
recently seen
that it (we− you) was
(were) merely what I wanted it to be
and nothing more.

How, seeking reality, did I,
made of clay, sculpt
man with such care, my hands
so gently
smoothing?  Yes, my fingers
can still feel skin where I thought
your face to be.  I cannot call to mind
an image of my thumbs sinking
into your flesh
carving out cup-shaped sockets
to look so deeply into
but here, I see,
beneath my nails, the mud.
What greater sin than this
surmoulage?  I do not believe I breathed
when we kissed.

I had a falling dream and woke to find
I really fell.  I am still plummeting.
In the mornings, words greet me.
Unfinished words, I long ago
(not that long ago) began to paint
stenciled on my wall.  The pencil
marks for every letter
are still there, illegible
from anywhere but up close
but the crimson color fill-in fills in
three letters only of a phrase
that was meant to say
a room of one’s own.  I left
the project incomplete
when you moved in.  

Too, unseen, behind books
another fragmentary sentiment:
Half-done purple painted verse:
Hosea 2:14.  I followed your voice
instead, afraid of the desert
and true tenderness.

All these partial writing on the walls.
Like the picture taken early on
that now looks altered in this light.
I can’t say quite how I perceived it before
but now your grin jumps out
too self-assured and my own small smile
registers a certain wariness as if that girl
knew more than what I know now.
And there I wore, and wear even now,
around my neck a symbol of your heart,
that supposed offering.

I think step two is to stop addressing
everything to you, to turn away
from that which I’ve created so I can see
in whose image I’ve been made.
To see what is truly bound,
not around my neck, but on my forehead,
what is tied as symbol to my hands,
what is fixed in my heart and mind.
What words expressed,


I do not wish to make you smaller
than life but only life-sized, finally
so I can recognize my hands when clean.
You can then break, freely.
I will leave your pieces be and pray,
confessing guilt for forgery
and after kneeling, my eyes will see
the evidence of woodwork, revealing
that I have never been alone.

3 comments:

  1. That knowledge of never having been alone is precious indeed, I thought this was a rich poem and very expressive

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  2. "to turn away
    from that which I’ve created so I can see
    in whose image I’ve been made"....nicely said.....

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