Jorie Graham

Soul Says


To be held by brittleness, shapeliness.
By meaning. As where I have to go where you go,
I have to touch what you must touch,
in hunger, in boredom, the spindrift, the ticket…
Distilled in you (can you hear me)
the idiom in you, the why—

The flash of a voice. The river glints.
The mother opens the tablecloth up into the wind.
There as the fabric descends—the alphabet of ripenesses,
what is, what could have been.
The bread on the tablecloth. Crickets shrill in the grass.

O pluck my magic garment from me. So.
                                              [lays down his robe]
Lie there, my art—

(This is a form of matter of matter she sang)

(Where the hurry is stopped) (and held) (but not extinguished) (no)

(So listen, listen, this will soothe you) (if that is what you want)

Now then, I said, I go to meet that which I liken to
(even though the wave break and drown me in laughter)
the wave breaking the wave drowning me in laughter—