Breathing into a brown paper bag, responsibilities
weighing me down, spreading out, hiding
in my speech, making up lies to
lie across me bare-chest and crushing.
I’ve slept in a pantry with roaches and a window
with a full view of an unkempt backyard,
but never did I suspect that my love would wane,
polarizing my impulses and my apathy.
There was only one choice, a card turned and midnight
streaming into my veins like celestial pull and light
into the astrologer.
Fighting is a fiddler playing – tension to maximize
the resulted genesis, or a room where rhymes
are written across the door frame. In that room I clip
my fingernails, waiting for admittance to foreplay,
something to electrify my sinews and sing.
Intimacy is a garden to plant or to let flourish
on its own accord, with eatable weeds
and dung beetles foraging.
Summer is slipping fast – with worry-wrought eyes,
Summer beats its sloppy heat on my shoulders,
on eyelashes, volunteering
its blaze and affirming breath.
I remember how it happened, listening
to lost friends voices on an answering machine. Some I wish
I never lost, most just conjure memory without emotion,
sure of why the break occurred, and glad
Drip, drip dreams betrayed,
looking over old books in an old bookshop, where
I used to treasure the smell and the surprise.
Ghosts enter me, collect and layer,
amplifying their mass, personal
Age does not slow or still desires.
Age does not make both arms free. I am the same,
as when my phantom wings expanded,
past hydro wires and mating cardinals, touching
the misty tip of a cumulus cloud.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Straylight”
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.
This is an extremely powerful piece. It is terribly sad for me.
Beautiful. I especially relate to the image at the end, age still desires, your phantom wings, still the same, touching the tips of a cumulus cloud. I have been thinking about aging lately, also about arms, strangely enough and agency. I’ve also never mentioned this but I very much enjoy the sexuality in your poems. It is a strong flavour in many of your poems. Courageous, too…perhaps.