Portrait of Woman with Wings in Oil

Monday, July 15, 2019
I speak in shapes of meaning 
and I am just a woman 
with half a life lived, or more. 
Which anointed grass, 
which sorcery of waters do I beseech 
through this charcoal map of lines? 
Am I not a marionette 
lamenting her strings? This pull and tug 
is a kind of déjà vu. 
I have been here before 
in another body, under another headless night. 
Or perhaps 
it is all the same night, the same night 
tethering the tongues of my great-grandmothers 
and their mothers.
That these shapes I make are tending 
the kindle of battle. 
That I am, in the act of speaking, 
still speaking against, 
is why we have not moved beyond 
plague and pestilence, why we have not earned 
the post dash of suffering. 
It is why the permafrost is melting 
and our defense is the movement of slugs.
What desolation of life will rise when the ice has melted? 
What dance will entertain us before the burning? 
What trick of light will mesmerize us first?
Monday, July 15, 2019