Poem: Crossing

for Rawn

The terrible clarity of days
no wind    and the self pouring down
the smallness    the worry.
I think so little of any of it,
of myself    try to stay open,
hold enough to carry something back.

The boulders bring me to myself
surfacing in smooth cool skin
as they rip the earth wide
and want me crying out for hands.

I want to drag myself up the road
belly open as a great wound,
down through mud and sand.
I call it seeing
when my chest seeks
news of life so violently

but the day is a violent search.

Open a vein
read it
then speak
in the language of slow love

how can you ever say it all
and who can possibly hear it

There is a man here who talks
me back into myself    He is
impossibly sunny and polite,
tells me there has always been
the question of what the white man thinks
but nothing can be done that way
in the bridle of dual consciousness
He says    do whatever you want
then says    I figure I have ten more years

That’s when I hear the terrible clarity.

© Copyright 2024 Beatrix Gates