"But the fly, shimmering green and blue, the fly was beautiful."*
I am working out the poetics of tension
and encounter, watching a fly
caught in the window, remembering you
as I have never seen, palms lit
in the flare-strike of match, mouth pulled
in the small fire of leaves.
I am saving a fly
I believe has been resurrected from my dreams.
It is crawling from a sill of burntmatch bodies,
from the black magic of an orchard
where paper was made of sugar
and sugar was gauze on a wound
and the wound a swarm of pencil tips
crossing out the words.
I have peeled back the winter
plastic, opened the draft—a chance
you tell me, is all we need.
I have not yet imagined
your lips slightly parted, the cellophane
peel, or how the emptying of each
pocket is the exact undoing of the hand
just moments before
placing its silences
The fly climbs and falls, climbs and falls, black star in a glass sky.
You are handing over the shape of your mouth
in a thick book of smoke, the unread pages flipping,
unbound in the wind. The wet wool of leaves, a distant
heat. I have just come from the bath and what I remember
of your face is to be told
through every third word of a story
you haven't yet written. What I remember of love
is a fly resurrected from ash, April snow,
the enormous weight of a single flake
Details blessing details. Star to peripheral star.
The clearer gaze
of what is half-seen. Desire
or an Extra Light cartwheeling
the air, fire
or a fly flickering its precise
timing of light.
What the memory will give back
in shadowy portions:
a rock-concert of Bics
bulbed in the palm, a loose hold
as in lips letting smoke
as in hips readying the sway
as in a last song carried home—
the ballad of wrist and pulse, wrist and pulse
making its way.
Rap of trapped wings, sleeted rain.
Now the kids are in bed and we are sneaking out
beneath the pine, trying on our younger
mouths, without irony, smoking, drinking
blowing out hills the shape of a dream you can’t remember
or a cover tossed in the dark, feathering down.
My wine cools the glass and I want the low notes of snow
ending in river, lace curtains drawn,
a muffle of wool pulled to the floor.
You like how I look, the silk breath,
ribboned light, and the boughs above in their gentle-give.
Snow, weighting the silences.
frost on the window unlaces its stars and the fly, the fly is climbing
To say I have loved a fly is to say I appreciate
persistence, that which climbs to the top of a storm
and holds, that which is drawn to thin panes
of resistance. Or what is turned, star by star,
into a dark lace of frost, into more than one
a fly on the window writing its sky,
a last word, burnt match, a love-
note taped to the sugarbowl.
*from Patrick Friesen’s carrying the shadow
Published On: February 14, 2008
Permanent Location: http://www.forgetmagazine.com/080214m.htm