memorial for a brilliant woman

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Body in motion

from the top of the head to the calloused soles of the feet,
the heart pumps blood to all the places it needs to be
in constant movement beneath the skin: sartorius, ilium,
ischium, transverse abdominis, latissimus dorsi, trapezius,
blood like water seeping up only to seek its own level
before a spectacular fall: Niagra, Tagbaladougou, Gocta,
Mutyalamaduvu, Papalaua, Hagoromo-no-taki, names
that tumble off the tongue as spun sugar confections,
slung carelessly down jagged cliffs, over green valleys,
under bridges, water flowing deep to rise, rise,
rise again in unexpected places as springs, springs,
springs that bubble and perk, mystical healing shrines:
Calimanesti, Lourdes, Daius Church, Bethsaida, where
just one toe, one fingertip dipped in the troubled waters
will gain blessed relief from an eternity of pain- but
you must be the first, first, first or be left to crawl back
to your cot and wrap up in sorrow to wait, wait,
wait another year, another holy day, until a stranger says
you can do it if you want to, you can do it on your own,
you can find a healing, it's already within you to take
the gift, float away on a sea of salty tears, buoyant,
expansive as furled sails in tropical harbors, blinding white
against the nacreous panoply of colors: vermillion.
pomegranate, viridian, malachite, gamboge, amaranth,
an impressive array somewhere between red and rose
love stands simple capturing the breath, heart beat, memory
of a fragrant flower: ansinthium, verbena, moonflower, lilac,
gardenia, jasmine, sweet and fragrant as musk, to stand
against the world and its gravitas, one body of many parts,
single-minded, foot to hand to mouth to heart, the beat, beat,
beat pumping blood to all the places it needs to go,
like water rising then falling to seek its own level,
again, again, again, again, again, again.


clayb said...


Nick said...

Shann was this "poem for dancers" you mentioned on my blog? Good one - thanks for posting.