Our Light Cannot Always Burn Whole
Nests that stay through winter
are similar to us at times – left abandoned
on high barren branches,
valueless until spring – if ever, even then, reclaimed.
We jog through bitter uneatable harvests, absorbing
disappointments as our only viable feast,
not heeding our self-honouring needs,
too proud to address imagined or deliberate injuries.
Jackets buttoned to the neck, we move in these sewer shafts,
trying to shake the foaming stench off
of each other’s tailored attire.
On our bed, we are broken, letting our arms rest
like a Spanish squid’s tentacles would rest,
pulled from pulsing waters. Our mouths primed for confession,
our eyes scanning features – short hair, skin under the eyes, familiar necklines.
We tell each other these things are worth
the horror of abominations
accepted as societal norms, atrocities justified as a soldier’s directed bullet.
Here in a shut-in space, we can lock,
shed faculties of crusted reason,
create a colourful spread of sensuality, messaging
our blood vessels with deep oxygen, curing, learning
to make saliva and swallow.
We tell ourselves sometimes we wish
we could be like those who live
never knowing an intimate tender beauty,
like those who get shipwrecked,
daily hunted by a cancerous loneliness.
At times we wish this love didn’t exist, then we could give in
to what lies beyond the cliff, defend our exit, salt the Earth
with a dramatic departure.
Those times, we hear a desolate chorus rising
and we vanish completely into its volcanic siren wind.
Other times, we talk. We watch squirrels dance across
our backyard trees, make tea, passing domestic glances,
gladly sharing the last spoonful
of bottled honey.
Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry” Volume 3, Issue 1