Adrienne Rich


Time split like a fruit between dark and light
and a usual fog drags
over this landfall
I’ve walked September end to end
barefoot room to room
carrying in hand a knife well honed for cutting stem or root
                                             or wick    eyes open
to abalone shells    memorial candle flames
split lemons     roses laid
                                  along charring logs   Gorgeous things
: : dull acres of developed land as we had named it:     Nowhere
wetland    burnt garbage looming at its heart
gunmetal thicket     midnightblue blood and
                                tricking masks    I thought I knew
history was not a novel

So can I say it was not I   listed as Innocence
betrayed you   serving (and protesting always)
the motives of my government
thinking we’d scratch out a place
where poetry   old subversive shape
grew out of Nowhere   here?
where skin could lie on skin
a place “outside the limits”

                                Can say I was mistaken?

To be so bruised:   in the soft organs   skeins of consciousness
Over and over have let it be
damage to others    crushing of the animate core
that tone-deaf cutloose ego swarming the world
so bruised:   heart   spleen   long inflamed ribbons of the guts
the spine’s vertical necklace swaying

Have let it swarm
through us   let it happen
as it must, inmost

but before this:   long before this   those other eyes
frontally exposed themselves and spoke

spoken = Karen Marek