Monday, October 19, 2020

Elegy (A cadralor)

Osiris and Maat, Louvre Museum, photograph by Rama

A thready pulse; the silken blue line
beneath the skin of your wrist telling
us your heart is unravelling. How is it
that we can’t thread this needle? The
vein on the back of your hand shuts
its eyes every time we try. The gown,
unholy, scant cover for the ceremony.

Tuning the guitar to open G, getting it just
so. I hear your ghost shimmering through
overtones rising off the soundboard, dust
rising off the neck; I saw how it broke your
heart to no longer have the strength to try.
Did you know I did it for your smile, all my
practice and play? Gone now, the crown of
callus on my fingertips, it’s been that long.

A coffee cup, full of DnD dice. Also in the cup: two
pair of scissors; two hand-blown perfume bottles no
bigger than my thumb, one broken. O undrinkable
memory, to find me so parched my lips can’t mouth
a blessing, afraid as I am to try my luck, to cut the
blossom from its branch, fill what’s fragile with joy.

Your practice, those occult beliefs, kept you scrying
the flame of your life, writing and reading sigils as
if a surety, a bond for meaning. Yet when it all went
south, dear, you had me and my love, enough to trim
your nails, check for open sores on your feet; even
unstrung, you sang to me, instar to eclose to instar.

The direct path isn’t for me. It’s the detour, the bend
in the road I long for, but now I need to bring back a
tale beyond my horizon. I find a ball of red string that’s
infinitely long, tie an end to the First Tree and set off.
How else could I find my way back, past the bend in
an aorta, a thready pulse, the scars upon our hearts?


To learn more about the new poetic form, the cadralor, see Gleam.

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