Archive by Author | Emily

Slowly

Our blood thickens and slows
as color is taken up and away
by November’s wind.
Again,
we learn endurance,
with tears that freeze
in silver lines
on skin that can’t hold heat.
But we still turn in
to face it.

A dissipating fog of breath –
who knows where it is?
Who knows where it goes?
Let it,
and mark its slow progress
on the map.
Somewhere on this skin,
you also find home.
And I want to spill,
but slowly and unfrozen.
There is no safety
in this silence.

Stone

You’re the one I keep –
for the imperfection
of your language,
for measuring eyes
and dancing hands,
for all
of what might never be.

Sometimes carry you in my pocket
and approach the water’s edge,
running thumb and forefinger
across the contours
we’ve created.

Watch the mirror:
gray sky,
gray water,
gray stone.

Think on possibility –
the potential of a perfect arc,
mind’s eye counting
the outward ripples
as you skip across the surface.

But despite the delight of means,
the murky end is too much.
So I keep you close –
a meditation on could-have-been,
a stone in my pocket.

Touch

Do not know
if I was wrong
or am.
You’re such an engaging purpose,
but I forget how
to take up the cause.

Before I skip it away,
turn this stone in my hand –
its rough and smooth
sides and edges,
hours into years –
and despite the progress of erosion,
we end the same –
afraid to touch
or be touched.

Suspension

Can we let this minute be –
without what’s done?
Or what’s to become?

Surrender one breath
to the suspension of time.

And because nothing stays with us,
and because nothing ever goes –
we are easy with it.
It is well
and you are never here,
but always presence –
my lover of a different stripe.

How we have been transported!

Ascent or descent –
let me touch you now,
then.

We can rise or fall into it.

And breathe.
And breathe.

…breathe…

Ground

And the quiet that builds in the bone
begins to ripen and burst.
And we are reminded by purple aster and milkweed.
And we are reminded by heavy-headed indiangrass.
And we are reminded by the slow-fading goldenrod.

The thread was never cut –
only silenced for a season
so we might learn how to listen.

And today all the golden brown
bends in the gray wind.
And bending with it,
I can feel it –
its coursing joy and the electric hum
of feet that more than touch the ground.

Sit

It is a measure of light
we take from the night –
needles to pierce the sky
and let some through.
And we choose wrong
but hold close to it –
nothing else does the trick.
Turn the blood engines –
its essence is here
deep in deliberate motion,
bodies seeking equilibrium –
a suspension of sorts.
And outside is nothing,
unless you care to acknowledge
and engage it –
the dark earth where we sink roots
and find this loathing.
And it always comes back round
to the same thing –
a filtered vision,
a constant movement
toward escape.
And still the way out
is in.
Sit with it.
Watch a while.
That old oak knows
how to be what it is.

Flood

When time was with us,
there was this pulling to heel,
and oh,
how we would rise up
with the August heat.
And oh,
how we craved
its breaking to take us.

And,
like every other golden day,
I dreamed you here,
senseless and
against my will –
a storm that builds to breaking,
then builds to break
again.

And if time were with us,
we might ride it –
rising ’til the air grew thin,
then falling fearless
to let the flood overcome
and send us
where it wills,

fingers grasping
dancing fingers
to pull us under
and make us new,
to make us free
to break the surface,
climb and fall,
and climb and fall
again.

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