Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Woman Looks in the Mirror




















Say My Name, Say My Name



A woman looks in the mirror with honest eyes
And meets the other eyes
They too are honest and fix her there
They are too honest may be because virgin
Living in-house, in filtered light
Dark pools without reflection.

She turns away, her hand on top of the dresser
The cool of pearls on her fingers
Has the thrill of truth.
She has turned away.

In the house with feathered light
She anyway could not see
How the pearls discrete on their string
Are black-nacreous like her skin.

Her hand holds the pearls
But she changes her mind.
No encirclements today.

She has changed her mind
And her honest eyes meet the other eyes
Points to points.

She lives alone here
In-house, in frosty light
Her good name is dear,
Is honor-bright

She harbors a harbinger-self,
A fée unrecorded,
A dissembling elf
Whose task's unrewarded

Now

Ignorant of  smiles
Bestowed
On  palace guards

She passes beyond
The fateful words

Tosses the ring
In a fairground game

Comes now the Elf:
Say my name,
Say my name

Her laughter a rip-tide
That pools in runnels
With torches be-side
Her she sweeps the tunnels

And finds there a changeling,
Or an infant mild?
Cuckoo in the nest,
Or blameless child?


A pearl of great price,
Subterranean
Starlet,
She redeems from waters
Pierian,
Incarnate

Through a glass darkly
Years of bread and singing
Espied and forgotten
Before the day bell’s ringing

Further back but still ahead
A sight
Herself again
In-house with firelight

Perceiving
The blaze but not the heat
The melody
Without the beat

Her laughter a rip-tide
Voice rich and deep
She inkily in-tones
Messages that keep

Keep her waiting may be
On answering-machines
In palaces ruled by
Quotidian queens

A woman looks in the mirror with honest eyes
And meets the other eyes
They too are honest and fix her there
They are too honest may be because rapt
Living in-house, with fractal light
Dark spools of recurring refractions

She reaches for the pearls–
For what did she want them?

She has forgotten. She has turned away.
The mirror has turned her wit.

She is anxious now and she scavenges
Here and there through drawers
Looking for something she anyway
Thinks she has lost.

Eyes check with the other eyes
Too honest may be because natural
Telling her without a doubt
She has lost it

Somewhere her life goes on beyond this house
With its books and cats, its gilt-edged mirror
And the writing that doesn’t get done

Her friends are not honest.
They are happy these days, too happy
To hold a place for her in their minds.

They are typing their emails in the morning sun.
They are bickering with husbands and wives.
They worry about the children.
They go here and there, do this and that, engrossed.

These friends are not honest
But at night when they sleep
They know what the honest eyes dream

There at the palace
Doors swinging wide
Gates opening now
Before she arrives

Back in-house
In-side the inside story
 Fée remembers
Elf’s ill-gotten glory

Back in the world
Called real
Drivers chase gold
On spinning wheels

Friends in this California city
Are rushing off to jobs
They are writing their books
They are driving their children
They think of her fondly, for
Without a doubt
She has lost it

They know how she will reason with them
And put off answering
The call

They are not tranquil these friends.
Their eyes dart from thing to thing.
In the brilliant California sun
They are everywhere moving and taking.

They do not know how
Her dreams, ever more blanched
By light, are filled now
Like nomads’ tents
With tiny multicolored birds

They know only her rip-tide laugh
Pulling them out to sea
And her eyes, filmy now, devoid 
Of the daily scene

Their dreams though remember
Black-nacreous skin,
Deep bell-tones, her voice

And dreamers dreaming her humility
Rejoice,
Their deadly spinning
halted.

The dreams are not honest, perhaps,
But they know she is exalted.

 *                  *                    *




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1 comment:

Anthony Bulloch said...

Pearls.... dreams.... tiny birds....