The Witnessing 

I witnessed it but I did not sing at first.
I want to wheel you round, plant a kiss on your lips & see it bloom
into a garden.
Season after season
the language  of bees is haunting.
 

Amity lakes at first light were golden
translucent as negative film.
At noon they were stark as stones, as sin.
By evening, those selfsame hills were graven
like names in silver or stone:
the air took the carving as sky bears the riding and the
rising through worst storm.
 

Be good to your girl for the even dozen
days you have on vacation.
Tear each page from the book of getting well.
Then take a deep breath. Will you ever come this way again?
Tread these streets, roll the asphalt with the wheels at twelve years
of age exchanged  for legs.
They can shatter like duck eggs, spill & stain
cardboard or wood, rather than sustain.
 

Where nourishment comes from gladness, from bitterness, however
sharply imaged, births that scratching across the ribs, which is
starvation.
 

Today I wrote a baker’s dozen.
The day was laced with sounds of transportation
like pastels on paper with a grain.
Foghorns gave a fat tuba sound in morn
& they came two times:
once for ready, twice for the real thing.
 

Low flying planes at noon took the top of the head off
like skimming cream.
One ducked the way you bring coals to Newcastle.
That futile act was not witnessed:
but a tnightfall, the most lonesome sound in the world, the train
was given bent ear
to get the mind around motion
of the girl in asylum, of the child paralyzed
erasing the desire to reverse the life’s term
would be like seeing a death & walking away from blind
would be the unforgivable act: unwitnessing.
 

The hat has been found and shaped on a wooden head
Lambie, how can I tell you my body has no longer been a good place to live
to serve.
Though I touch the map of the invisible world, I torch the one I live in.
Flocks of sheep drift down on our nightgowns
let them not be shorn.
The priest wore a black robe turned twice.
The sky is empty
and my feet have swollen with the heat
I go out in slippers
“The cries of the disabled girl down the hall drew them running.”
Not to worry. No worries.
 

Old Blaze the roses were called in the Empress garden.
It ravages and savages one.
Climbing gold is another one
printed on the old-fashioned signs.
I woke with teeth on my work
to fold the hours over, one after one.
Scrubbing has a very soothing sound.
 

There is a raven-like flock of young men.
I might as well wait outside the circle.
Last night, the buildings whose brick
looked the color of watermelon
whose windows charcoal,
reflected, for me, the soul
battling a long life to get out of the body’s hole
torn one day, flown free.
But spiritually I was a lark, the edge bitter, the core light
outshining the dark withal.

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