I want to hold my hands
neatly. I’ll tell you,
my feelings do sleep. A feeling
of sleep. Drawing out of slumber,
Caution and crumbs, detritus.
I’m a girl again, trite as leaves.
I think of the twelve dancing
princesses, how all they wanted
was a good night out; spoke-thin,
dizzy to death, betrayed
I could not see you. We were
making signals through the murk.
Breakfast time and I was hungry,
but you couldn’t stop crying. Over
head, I heard planes flying.
I wanted to ascribe a sound
to them, something more human
than a sky-sliced yawn, scooping
All those summers, sheathed
in gracefulness. Swimming-pool
stagnant, chlorine and glint,
Sunday afternoons with my mother
in the decaying country club-
how I protested, and the drives
back, evening gathered dark;
a wet towel in a plastic bag.
But the good days were. The
good days, they were. Tangle
of bright thread, doomed and
beaming, the dense, insoluble
wreck of language.
Wistful thinking. I lay by
the market, breathing like bread.
Train-line promises. Better off dead.
The bad days, and the bad days.
I’m holding my arm to
my arm. I feel like I might fall off
the edge of something, not a stupor
but a ground-wide vertigo
scheme. Surely it gets better;
minor condition, terrible dream.
Years pass, years had
passed. Still young. And surly.
I fear the end for no reason;
like the monster in the movie
who turns out to be
vegetarian, foreign to menace-
The end to no end,
A sure, bright touchable thing.