Friday, September 21, 2007

New Poem: Seeking Context

Seeking Context

mask without face, but other. can the stars
be far behind, imagined nights recollected
in warm days, steam rising
from strong dark roast coffee, this?

is what we dream not real? why
not gaze into vacant eyes, touch
soft fur of needy cats? then this too
fades, memories like DNA strands.

if we had known, would we have accepted,
those moments? the coffee cup
in her hands, the hangovers. now
there is silence, too, and, but . . .

beneath the bridge the water
is quiet. I have heard the ravens.
poor excuse for a city. not Seattle,
not New York. just here.

face without mask, can we hold
this in our hands? the naked presence
then shared over coffee, without words,
her legs over mine. cool sunlight.

so little said those mornings,
as though regret, as though fear,
sitting in the sun. ashamed I saw
her face, loved the face I saw?

tangled DNA. nothing remains.
static moments, memory, seeing
beneath the mask, her true face.
can the stars be far behind?

this then, or autumn arriving
so suddenly, hands held open
in supplication, down on my knees,
and still I hear the ravens.

does she hear, too, wearing no masks
at all? can those mornings speak?
I would have accepted, and did,
but even good memories fade.

Note: "mask without face" is from an Ann Lauterbach poem.

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