From "Their Eyes Were Opened"
III (And the Birds Too Pecked the Flesh)
And the birds too pecked the flesh of the fruit.
And their eyes were opened. And they would not
go near the man and woman. And ants ate
the fruit. And deer. And the seeds of the fruit
passed through them and dropped a new knowledge over
the garden. And the garden was transformed,
digested, shat out, growing again and eaten
again. The small world made greater. And the tree
died and was remade and drifted like spores
of mold, like mud on the back of the dog, like dust
itself. And all life fled the man and woman.
Scurrying, disappearing into the ground, the feet
and mouths, clawing, digging, chewingand fruit
like rotting eyes dropping from the trees.
IV (If You Are an Angel)
If you are an angel, I am the wind.
If you are a shepherd, I am a wolf.
If you a bomb, I the emptiness inside.
If you are a rope, I'll descend your rough
fibers, I'll climb down into my own bones
where you are afraid to enter. Though they
open the book of my body: cranium,
breasts, the catacombs of lungs, scroll of the tongue,
pearl ovariesyou cannot read it.
However much you scream, whatever fire,
I will be beyond you, and earth is
beyond you, and the first and the last,
beyond you, and beyond you, I swear it,
even beyond you, there is other.
V (Where We Lived Then, Circle)
Where we lived then, circle, arc of tenderness,
a place we could keep moving but never
get lost, all that time you didn't hear me,
or was it the other way around? Maybe
my sky was an eggshell, my god a great bird,
my home a nest of spit. Ending where I
began. It's just another failure, like
the spider's eggs wrapped in silk, blown into
the mud. Like obedience, its red slash
of loss. Lately, when I'm sleeping, an animal
wakes inside me, volcanic at the base
of my throat. Long-limbed, cramped by my ribs.
Deep groans, a song inside a song. Changes
are coming, my lambs, start your roaring.
VI (Something Long Forgotten)
Something long forgotten comes into her.
Some days she thinks the afterbirth still drags
behind her, her breasts hard with milk. She clears
a place, setting stones for a garden. Now
all that was buried comes back. Earth bursting
with memory. And each flower drawing her face
inside its face. The legs of spring scissored
open. And the heaving. When it gets so bad
she wants to die, she tries to remember.
To get past the nostalgia for submission,
past surrender, law, altar, the rape
of the divine. Spring scissors inside her.
The marching, the soldiers, children with guns,
something long forgotten comes into her.