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Voyages


ISSUE:  Autumn 1996

I

The cloth the ship the clock the oath
rope a noose waiting like a snake
What is treasured
In a pillowcase in a dream
The floor green soft with plants
Diamonds the swans found in the weeds
a piece of hair coiled in a locket
a thigh a river a branch a book
in a trunk bound for Rome
A glove floats your face covered
by my hands my mouth breath
of anise gray pigeons sidewalks ashes
your eyes timid then hungry
the dark flows over the stairs enters the sea
spiraling wrists an iris opening in the shadow of a hand

II

To bear it across the ocean in a sack of skin
the weight of an alphabet
the crane unlovely and lovely guardian gestures
a letter in the sky piercing clouds
blots sunlight with dark messages
of escape language stretching into the shapes of fire
She brings the tongue wriggling in a sack lets it loose
One night a red snake winds its way
through damp ungodly dark

III

Vapor of memory
of fern small stones fever and words only sounds
the hand on the forehead
read my mind but did not soothe
How could it the room was dark enough
our bodies glowed the low luster of pearls
Outside oranges newspapers doggish sunlight
huddled like rabbits old fear returning
There are words our bodies have learned to spell

IV

The light is broken by a cry
a spear thrown into darkness
which absorbs it holds it while vanishing
no other language or rope or time
the tongue is silent drifting wood
the crane takes back her gift a drop of blood
broken letters in her sack of skin of ruin

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