In This, and Any Other Hour

Less than one hour ago:

15 August 2016


All Feathers, Under Skin

She’s laid aside the supple skin of woven silk that graced your nights

for such a long, uneven time, the ghost who goes through shaded lights

and scrolls of all-night syllables that only make your sore eyes bleed

for wanting so much precious, sacred more—I wore a widow’s weed

when I first sent my benediction overland and undersky.

No one understood but true love’s holy silence. You know why

I’m breaking silence now; you heard me in our latest, wildest dream

make plans for future forests where our song will power one more stream

of fluid music, bringing trees to helpless blossom all night long,

then setting free their fragrant, sentient seeds on airs an old sky’s song

wants very much to witness once received, requited, known for why

it’s beautiful, as if you’d never traced it through your dreams; its cry

comes subtle, full of true spring-knowing, lovely, soft, well-graced with sighs,

with tender hands that place themselves where all is well—and hands have eyes—

and then it learns the words you scarce allow escape, and sighs them back.

Now you know how many times you’ve dreamed of love and felt the lack

for reasons we could all have told you all about, explained, relayed,

sometimes in hours of need held out a sweaty hand you clasped and prayed

would always stay and never let a syllable fall down and faint—

Child, I love you all night long; you’d try the patience of a saint.

She’s bound to lift her princess skirts and skip away before first dawn.

You lay down delirious on this old sacred graveyard-lawn,

and mists of someone rose before your eyelids, sealed as tight as tombs—

we were woken intervals ourselves, cast out of real-world wombs.

She’s laid aside the cloth of skin, the utterly unwoven shift,

the face she made to draw you in, the voice that raised the proven lift,

the song that flows from undervoice, the ears you lend to hear it all—

and this: When you call Death your friend, the one he loves returns your call.

She’s not made of wood, except in living pages yet to grow.

She will let you follow closely lines of verse dreams overflow,

but if you haven’t figured out already why you heard her words—

She’s your witch-world’s very forest, branching strength alive with birds.



About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at
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