The fault of sages
Love was there
spreading hope like jam over my taste buds.
Then the first skipping rope broke,
got snared on a fence and frayed.
I stole away on a subway train where
hundreds have gone walking into a warzone.
Amen to the end and the predator’s
happy-go-lucky disposition. One claw,
one tentacle, in flowing precise motion.
Another lifetime and it may be different,
tender as lovers beneath their first full moon,
or worse, like cartilage deteriorating.
I rehearsed a familiar pattern,
sabotaging memories to find a way to be holy,
to make only God matter, dismantling adult days
of calculation, days of stultifying impulses,
of consciously unplugging the push of inspiration.
I flicked the splinter and loosened its stem, learning
that every homecoming is different – some shed
their most treasured members, others,
an accommodating persona. Still others constrict
just to pitch thought and become a pulse.
Love I lifted like a heavy stone,
trying to grow flowers between sparrows’ toes
where they nested and puffed up under eavestroughs,
trying to weave myself an escape in the shade,
a carpet to lie back on.
Solutions were bare,
offered crossword puzzle satisfaction
but no retreat from passengers staring
and the continuous stab of uncertainty.
Templates I now break and breathe and blow all away
into the sandalwood spring, into the eyes of my dog.
Stiff joints lend themselves to patience,
planting wings in my palm – empty spaces finally
accepted. Shadows I see take on a life of their own
and keep dancing. God I see in the sloping deformity
of all steps climbed, treacherously taken, born whole
from parallel paths of lack and yearning.
.Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Furious Gazelle” June 2015
Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.
OK… deep breath! I hadn’t realized I read it without breathing so as not to break my concentration. Do I “get it” – me, the poetry challenged? I’m going to have to re-read several times, then I’ll likely come up with a personal image, or interpretation. So far, you’ve given me a jumble of feelings that are literally all over the map. Key words that make my heart jump. Fear, anger, doubt, and choking. Not bad for a single poem. At least I had been “prepared” as I’ve been reading some of your material on “Mr. Militant Negro!”