vertigo

Nov. 25th, 2010 11:32 pm
cedarmyna: illustrated image of a white bird on a branch at night (Default)
vertigo

fiona says you know     some people are afraid
of heights     cliffs     tall buildings     those places
not because they think they'll fall     but because
they think they'll jump

i saw some photographs of sylvia plath     in every one
she's smiling     soft face     quick bright eyes     ted
with his arm around her     and her long dark braid
like a snake down her back

all you can think when you see her     is why
did she do it     but then why did virginia do it
why did frida do it

plath     woolf     kahlo     clever women
with five letter names are cursed     with men
husbands     brothers     doctors     editors
who want to tell them what they can and can't do
with their bodies     and don't want to listen
to their minds

worse     cursed with bodies     that don't listen
bodies they can't control     the bodies decide
when they bleed     when they breed     when they don't
when they die

of course they plunge into ovens     and rivers     and sleep
what else can you do

tall buildings     bridges     train stations     those places
are safe     that stone in your stomach     that knot
in your throat     is your body admitting
you might be in control

yes fiona i know
cedarmyna: illustrated image of a white bird on a branch at night (Default)
I am not Portia

Mercy is the pretty twin, but I always said
justice was smarter and more important.
The wicked should be punished, left in the midday sun
to wither, crumble, blow away on the wind.

Maybe it was envy, the private knowledge
when I go to throw a punch
it will slow and hang in the air like an unanswered question,
a bubble about to burst.
Time will stop and it will never connect.

Maybe it was the blindfold,
the sword and the scales;
something to hold and something to believe in,
something to offer beyond open hands
and a willing flank.
cedarmyna: illustrated image of a white bird on a branch at night (Default)
to Nimue, if she should someday return to find me, which she won't

You thought you were tricking me,
but you had it backwards.
You thought you could flatter me
by calling me wise, but I know
all too well my wisdom is an illusion,
a misconception caused by always knowing what will be -

but (as I'm sure you know by now)
magic always comes with a price, and mine
was that while I always know what will happen
I have no idea what I've done.

But - I knew what you would do
if I let you
so I did. You see,
the thing about living backwards
is that one morning you wake up
with the fear you may have atoned for all your sins
before you committed any.

And now I am young but I am old and I am afraid, Nimue -
Do the gates of heaven open in reverse?
Would they let me enter
if I just kept walking as I always have,
putting one foot behind the other?

February 2011

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