When I Close My Eyes
The voice I hear soothes my unwatered ribs,
speaks generous and strong that the
stagnant heat that has made them brittle
will pass like a wave that passes
over a rock, accommodating yet
still whole. The heat will die like heat
eventually does, rising up into
God’s all-absorbing arms.
I will be removed from the vulture pit,
and when removed the pit will be remembered
as a womb, and with my gifts I will be praising
its every depth and syllable. I will not
be forgotten though no different than
others who cry out in need.
The voice I hear that heads my heart
soothes my flesh-stripped knees,
singing of mercy, indestructible.
Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “First Offense” Issue 10, 1996
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.
“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.
“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.
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