dream: after my miscarriage
i rise out of bed, try to make this blurry wake
a way out of the hospital to find you.
my eyes have gone wild in their sockets
from staring at the blood stains on my hands.
outside, cold air, sharp as light, cuts my eyes
from their sockets. they rise and float
ahead of me. two small flames lighting
a path to the river. the wild flowers
of the field are tall and wounded. the cold air
splitting them too. my voice trying
to rise through the rubble of my throat
as i try to send you a human sound.
my hands reach for my eyes, in their lighted
flight. take me down the river. the cold
water, a voice rippling through the dark.
i run to the river to wash
myself free of the blood chain, pulling
tighter around my skin as the red dries.
my eyes see you climb out of the water.
you turn to face me. your soft flesh, wet.
does your body remember my body,
the way mine remembers yours?
Dear Anne,(for Anne Sexton)
Because there is no other place to flee to,
I too, come back to the scene of disordered things.
Winter in the Northwest has nothing to do with light,
like death, that wondrous step we all walk into.
Anne, you are the carpenter of your own life.
Your tools: the glamour and warmth of fur
and the lace of whiskey, you sat rested
and waited to walk alone into the dark.
Death, this wanting walk, now, this special language
living beneath the tongue, a pearl, waiting in its shell,
year after year to be spoken. Late December, early winter,
I let the pearl loose in my mouth and listened for the task,
listened for which tools: a heap of white pain killers
and a glass full of tequila. Then, I began to fall deeper,
deeper into the dark. My eyes closing into a splash.
But, I, still young in the art, fell not into death
but into the hands of God, his hands an island
I had never been to. When I woke,
I was in the hospital, the doctor in his white gown
took his stethoscope to the small hill of my breast bone
to hear my heart’s mark, the water of its sound rushing
to the shallow shores in my chest. He ordered me away
into a white room as wide as a coffin, my bed a boat,
cast into life, cast at sea, and I am left rowing, and rowing.