Saturday, July 02, 2005

2 Poems Eliza Bishop

Luna Cat

Nimble peach and pressed against the window screen,
shot through with fire, you see the nighttime's refracted
glistening province of silence with two green-gold eyes.
Your underbelly evidence of gravity in my one room of
watermarks: flood, alluvium,

canoe. Having touched only the water of birth and thirst
you are an unusual elemental encounter. Suckling minced
light you leave a trail of hair sweeping dust - clinging
to me like magnets. Let me leap through my loneliness
to slink as your shadow, an indiscernible dark side
tied to the body by its own devices.

I do not talk. With what velocity is left, dangle
the scent of now like so much honey, be the slow
magician. If only you could bestow truth without
hunger, un-anxious love, the ability to be
perched on a windowsill in the dark pocket of night
and have no thought swimming toward the future.


He had come to be her counterpoint. He was everywhere she moved,
breathing hot air on her earlobe as she listened to trains passing in
the dark, straining for her as she filled the tea kettle with water,
appearing on the window pane as she closed the blinds. He was suspended
always a breath's distance from her body; she could never fully inhale,
drop ink to rest on paper without feeling two hearts' beat in her chest,
or bring a plum tomato to her lips without his kiss.

At times, when the silence seemed permanent and unforgiving, she would
write letters addressed to herself. But it wasn't until the rainstorm
on the first of May that she spoke without a spliced tongue.

Her sister was washing a blue plate and they were conversing about yoga.
The rain raced down the window in rivulets. Her chest seemed spacious
enough to encompass all the readiness for life she could imagine.
Blanketed by the beats of rain she remembered her typewriter, in the
living room corner next to her yoga mat. Every nuance of light and
color opened as she retrieved her objects. She sat down, opened the
typewriter to her hands, and a whole morning passed.

Who will you be? She posed. It's the credence of telling. Begin
again. Paint the bedroom walls a different color. Cut the curls from
your head. Sleep with someone else. Change the blinds. Face the
essence of silence where you can feel him looking at you.