Why have I died
like Icarus? Or like cotton candy,dissolving in lukewarm saliva?
Five weeks without pay, and
the weather is morbid,
plays upon my skin like fireants.
You took what I denied and changed
what was paltry into paramount -
my feet pressed against your calves, lifting
into the pressure, just
to have a choice.
Why have I died? My neck cut against the broken window
as a resolution to my determination to see beyond the pane -
repeating like a recurring dream, developing a wider lack - lush pulsing,
possessing your sternum where I rest my panting will upon.
I am dead. Can’t you see my decay? Can’t you seethe violence expanding in my throat?
How have I died? before nirvana? after the bliss of a mother’s faith?
The sparrows come close. They know not to fear a dead thing.They land on my foot with its multitude of intricate bones,
tendons and memories of backyard earth.
They look around, peck below where still remains some warmth.
Once I fed them - minuscule fledglingsfallen after a storm. Now I am over.
I do not eat. I do not feed you
or anyone anymore.
Long ways and no ways
Out of phase with the frame others are drawn to. At last,illuminated, released from artificial expectations.
You will not correspond or accelerate into my atmosphere.
My magic is inward, and the gravel you picked up and misplaced,
rolling it over your lips to find a perfect indentation, I have held it
too - for moments at a time, swinging in the wind,
fruitful. But I know that is not my natural practise or
a possible habitation for me. I must stand behind boards with
the spiders, while you are sunning - an artery of pearl-like significance,
attentive, lubricating glory, improving your already abundant harvest.
I will not make you flash-cards to categorize my plight or give you
the pulley cord of my broken development to pull
and make use of. I am not a substitute for a makeshift wedding ring.
My only protection is to give up. So I give
you up. Your glorious atlas open, appealing to the otherwise
immobile crowd, but not to me. I’ve left the track, left this road
I picked - for one year I have been walking and have met
so few believers. It has been inadequate. You
have been fraudulent and have unknowingly plagued
the thrusts of my yearning. Energy matters: what doesn’t fit doesn’t
graduate into a tangible weight, will never be sun or iceberg.
Long ways I have loved. For hours, I have kissed the bridge of your nose,
conscious of my fixation. In my bed, I offered you supremacy.
Now summer draws me away, tells me this work is done,
asks me to go forward, to map and mend
a child’s ragdoll that fell overboard
where the ocean stretches on and keeps
no hidden crevasses for toys or wounds.
Inside a fleeting redemption;subterranean stones stoning
in ice-minutes; tenderness splintered.
My brain has formed a different
diameter - better without love, without
incantations and unprofitable rituals.
My hands have hollowed out the kitchen, pillaging
spoons, pots and sponges. This is no
communion. Here, no priest can enter
these floors clothed. Self-pity received in
a little container - opened and disposed of
but returning in mouldy residues. My legs
are hard to lift, hard to remember to own them like
I do these hands.
Things I pretended to be
are gone. Choices have failed to strengthen.
Faith is a ghost the light shines through,
cannot be articulated, has morphed into a caricature
of past ripenings. How I wish I could close my eyes,
release myself from the weight of being.
I could ride a train, take it across the border.
I could be like the young woman who fell – was she
dancing on the bridge’s rail and forgot the distance? or simply
bloated on drugs and insanity’s youthful wake?
How strange that her asymmetrical face
and lithe beauty remain, so you think of her
as one of the fortunate – because of the fall,
because she fell while dancing, and you have forgotten how
Allison Grayhurst has had over 200 poems in more than 130 journals, magazines, and anthologies throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola (summer 2012), South Florida Arts Journal, The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock, Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry, poetrymagazine.com; Fogged Clarity, Out of Our, Quantum Poetry Magazine, Decanto, and White Wall Review.
Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published nine other books of poetry and two collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman.
Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was recently published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012.
She lives in Toronto with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. She also sculpts, working with clay.