Resident Poet

The Poem which does not begin, but is exposed

Image: A darkened old-fashioned room with a high ceiling and air of romantic decay; a wooden chair is in the middle and there is a silhouetted figure by the window.

 

Mornings are not made for pretence; 

they are not voyeurs, either, 

but they are concerned with 

nakedness,

or a state of being bare that tends to embarrass. 

 

And, because they are cruel in this way, 

they watch our fingers 

as they point to each glowing fragment

of last night’s dream, 

one that floats on the mirrored steam 

 

of the kettle, 

one that stitches its initials into 

clothes that can withstand the day

and the one that shades 

the shadow of the fig tree.

 

The belief that in a beginning is an end 

is a dangerous belief

 

and not so much belief

as artifice. I am sure that the mother 

who wakes in the small hours

will tell you as much, she who has

experienced childbirth and an intimacy with days,

 

for the sun and the wet postnatal head

do not begin clean. As

fruit does not begin, as 

language does not begin, 

as there is no telos and no origin

 

and any fantasy of such is a violence. 

And in peace, there is exposure:

the release from slumber, the fresh speech 

of she who dreamt of demanding newness

but could not find the words. 

 

Image by Michelle Mendieta Mean

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