First published in “dead snakes”, 2013
Strips of clouds,
pink-grey like a snail snatched
from its shell. So many days I waited, waiting
like that snail for permanent protection, waiting
as an activity to delve fully into.
Nirvana was coming. I saw it traced
on the dated sidewalk, etched on the curvy luster
of a raccoon’s still spine and in the devotion
of the rock dove waiting for its one decided love.
Nothing was ever enough to saturate my yearning.
Even for a moment, to remember a time before birth,
before the furious fluttering engine ulcerated
my stomach lining, or before my sanity became a soft noise,
fading. I could hear it like a basic desire I was forced
to forgo – sex, unquenched – like that but even
more. Like a crinkled cloth left on the subway floor,
I waited – dry, malformed, avoided.
The basement air is grooming me for an alien awakening –
maybe fluorescent, possibly ordinary, but better than
this sitting, tipping sideways on a broken chair.
Salt lamp on, a little fireplace or miniscule sunshine shining,
crumbling between my fingers, waiting
no more, moving at last
to another corner.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst