The Book

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The Book

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Inside, spending all my coins, rejoicing

on ephemeral longing, on a lustful inhale

for physical redemption.

 

Hidden in the pages, I am hidden

at four in the morning, bathing in perfection,

lifting into heights that obscure drudgery.

 

Thoughts are shapes that float as shadows,

hardly solid like butter left out of the fridge.

Cages unraveling and houses cleaned of cobwebs.

Between soft book covers freedom kisses explicitly,

candy-ices without embarrassment.

 

Hanging on hinges, on barely glanced-at walls,

I gather my vision in the grass, paint on the

bones of another’s life – beautiful bones and hallways

of many feet walking and swishing bathrobes.

In the book I can face forward and never fear rejection,

I can shower sensuously in warm rhythms,

tied to the stirring light of early summer.

Love between these diary covers is not just canvass

or thick hues that merge and make a middle, it is where I will

at last know another’s body as I know my own, be protected

from the torrential pawing pierce of middle-age loneliness.

 

Inside the book, you are under me like a bed of lavender bushes,

there are waves where once sunken skeletons rise like coral,

polished pure of their violent history.

 

Drowning in the book, imagining ants collecting,

synchronized on an apple core.

 

Bells in my head, footsteps rising, closer now,

you know me well. Inside the book, you know me better.

We are two trees – branches and roots, an interwoven crocheted

impressionistic portrait, staying through heavy storms.

 

Inside the book, we are creatures of greater sympathy.

You are like yarn, tied to my brush and hold, never in

the liquid valley of a distant boat, or obvious as a prickly,

rigid rope. I am mature, a woman with a ceiling to touch,

fifty feet of surrounding stillness, unfettered

from the expectations of my time and gender,

radiant, more, whole.

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Copyright © 2013 by Allison Grayhurst

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Currents - pastlife poems cover 4

BookCoverImage Allison GrayhurstTrial and Witness print back cover

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Wilderness House Literary Review”

 

 

The Path Before

 

The Path Before

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Inside this cup polliwogs drown

for the sake of a child’s curiosity. Following a man

wearing a long maroon robe around his shoulders,

a group walked the dirty morning streets,

pretending inner peace.

I was there, there in the sinking sand, abandoned

to mud and nature. I was there, handing out sandwiches

I couldn’t afford to make, following the one

with the robe, thinking he would save me.

              Save me from the dead fish lodged in my throat,

from the desolation of my eunuch intimacies, save me

from the ulcer that tore apart my insides like a feral cat,

trapped and too far gone to look around.

              Waiting at 4 a.m. to steal away into my cubicle

and watch the dawn break over the park,

              or running with my brother

over the farmland of a mutual friend that frightened us,

who we kept because we had no other, as we sat quietly

on his cast-iron stove, quietly in the danger, not together

as brother and sister should be, but separately wondering,

never holding hands.

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Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

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Currents - pastlife poems cover 4

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Juxtaprose Literary Magazine, Volume 1” April 2015

 

Poem nominated for “Best of the Net” 2015

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