The Night Before
I praised and held the wind in a jar.
All the while, the stars melted, old gods
were replaced by new ones, and the once invincible
were fated to run lunatic through communities, terrorizing
and leaving pathways of blood with their strong arms
and war-loving minds.
Dancers curled up like centipedes,
poets lost their poetry to analysis and clichés,
and worst of all –
no one was able to tell the difference between
what was gold and what was a trinket.
My hair was long, back then, I remember,
my beaten-up hands were supplicating,
but every blessing was denied me, from weariness,
from loss and from my own hard-hearted pride.
I was ready to be fatally wounded, as such an ache
would be an adventure.
I was ready to run across a river
and test the currents’ force against my own resolve.
So I went north, away
from the wicked heat Mediterranean sun.
I praised, and in that praise, was half-way perfect.
A mouse could not know my skilled imagination
and an eagle was too high to tap deep into my shadows.
I went up a mountain, but first over
that river. I sang a new language when
I touched the snow, sang,
making an Eden in that virgin toil.
Copyright © 2020 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Rasa Literary Review, Issue 1” October 2020
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: