Saturday, August 6, 2011

Not Ours To See

Painting borrowed from Freaking News

Not Ours to See

Your eyes are uncut emeralds, frosted
with images. The smell of river mud mingles

with urine, bleach, the taste of onions. In the hall,
the chatter of nurses, old mothers dying alone.

The constant mutter in your throat ebbs
and flows, undecipherable. But who

can comprehend constancy? Your skin
is soft as silk, thin and pale, precious. Someone

once loved the taste of salt on that skin, the sheen
from those eyes. There is a picture above your bed.

I just told you his name, but I’ll say it again while I’m here.
It’s not noise you mutter, I know. It is the purest

sound. But shush while I tell you a story about a girl
with an appropriated name, quieter than the sum

of her parts. And yet she shined like river mud.
Let us both be that girl, just for a little while, until

the nurse comes to change you in the swaddling
machine. I cannot kiss this skinned knee, love.

I don’t have the right spit. This girl I mentioned,
her favorite movie was anything by Hitchcock,

Doris Day singing: “Will we have rainbows
day after day?” Her emerald necklace cradling

the delicate skin of her throat. The sad fact of time
unreachable beyond the credits. For this girl,

the churchyard stone was warm in the sun. She
could curl into the grooves worn by grieving fingers

and rest. But this stone is no one we know, love.
The only instinct humans are born with is a desire

to grasp beauty. Soon, it will be lights out.
Soon, all questions will be stifled. Soon, the warm hand

of economy will bundle us all into our true home.
For now, stare at the frosted mirror as it reflects

back to you something you thought you’d forgotten.
See? Nothing is ever lost to us.

C.L. Bledsoe

Posted over on Ten Pages Press

No comments: