Diane Wakoski





In the Secret Room, East of the Sun,
            West of the Moon

I met a magician
there,
measuring waves of light,
reflecting mirrors against my wrist
and touching me in the dark
of my own night.
I asked him for formulas,
remedies for my invisibility,
offered to trade him
the cap of darkness
for the magic ring
which would lead me through a garden
where flowers had daggers concealed in their petals,
the birds were flaming objects hurled against
intruders in the night,
and where a dragon named Love
guarded the gates against anyone
who had ever shed tears.
                                      But he
would not trade,
saying,
it was not in his power.
And he sent me away to an island
where the sun only shone
one night of the year,
where there were no moons,
and only the phosphorescent, glowing
seaworms
which crawled up on the land
looking for something
nameless and beautiful
at a signal from a dragon named Truth.

But there are no magicians here,
or astronomers.
They were all somewhere else,
playing tennis with their glamorous friends.
I ate marigolds
and went home,
no longer afraid of anything.
But sad.
Feeling the loneliness
of my cold name.
I live in a secret place,
behind a carved door.
My house is a diamond and my life
is unspoken.
There is music that rescues us all,
and light into which
we all fade.
Life is its own metaphor. Silence speaks
for itself.