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from GERMINAL

 

1. Waste-Gold

 

These songs are waste-gold

a matter of passing time

together as we wait for night —

 

they are meant to be loving

they do not touch you

they have no fingers.

 

How hard to give a blessing under

these conditions. How hard

to bear a heart’s void chambers

 

sucking and flushing blood.

These songs flare

in the bare space between

 

my body and your marble

your marble with the missing pieces.

Any beauty I find here

 

is fractured, in need of repair.

I lack the skill, I lack the will —

already we are both cold.

 

 

 

 

5. Elegy

 

That death was a masterpiece

striking just the right balance

between delicacy and the grotesque.

 

The books you carried to prison

lilacs without breath on their branches

God was there, God, I think, God.

 

A child lay weeping in his cradle

and past the window death hurried

sly and bright-eyed in the dusk.

 

I want a song to cancel desolation

it’s not good enough, to say


this is how lovely things break, like this.

 

 

 

 

6. Tränenbäume

 

And when he kneels

his hands like flowers

under the white tree

 

in this way, the spring

wind leaks a scent

from which my words

 

recoil, wet-eyed —

the blossoms crumple

too soon for summer.

 

 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

won an Eric Gregory Award in 2014. Her pamphlet, White Hills, is published by Clinic.

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