Maria Teresa Horta
From the wind I get
the predicate of plants
And feel the wider cleavage
of your lips
grazing and razing
what is torn from the climate
at the apex of a road
Of the pools I Have only thought
where once I swam and drowned
a memory I quench and cannot grasp
now that I am yours
yours and saved.
CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI
I lie on the grass and listen
to the river inside me. It
pulses and churns, surges up
against the clenched rock
of my heart
until finally it spurts from my head
in a dark jet. Behind,
the clouds swoop and dive
on paper wings, the palace walls
grow taller, brick by brick, till they rise beyond
the painting's edge. The river
is deep now and still, an opaque lake
filled with blue fish. But look,
the ground tilts, the green touch-me-not plants
angle away from my body. I am falling.
The lake cups its liquid fingers for me,
the fish glint like light on ice. Evening. The river pebbles
are newborn pearls. The water rises.
I am disappearing, my body
rippling into circles. Legs, waist,
armpits. My hair floats upward, a skein
of melting silk. I give
my face to the river, the lines
of my forehead, my palms. When the last cell
has dissolved, the last cry
of the lake-birds, I will, once more,
hear the river inside.
Diving Into the Wreck...A poem by Adrienne Cecile Rich, an American poet, essayist, lesbian, and feminist. She has been called "one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the 20th century."
First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.
There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.
I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.
And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
you breathe differently down here.
I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed
the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.
This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he
whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass
We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
our names do not appear.
Ha! WONDERFUL, DD!!! Happy dance back!
Anne Sexton (1928-1974)
Song For A Lady
On the day of breasts and small hips
the window pocked with bad rain,
rain coming on like a minister,
we coupled, so sane and insane.
We lay like spoons while the sinister
rain dropped like flies on our lips
and our glad eyes and our small hips.
"The room is so cold with rain" you said
and you, feminine you, with your flower
said novenas to my ankles and elbows
You are a national product and power.
Oh my swan, my drudge, my dear wooly rose,
even a notary would notarize our bed
as you knead me and I rise like bread.
She wore little teeth of pearls around her neck.
They were grinning politely and evenly at me.
Unsuitable they smirked. It is true
I look a stuffed turkey in a suit. Breasts
too big for the silhouette. She knew
at once that we had sex, lots of it
as if I had strolled into her diningroom
in a dirty negligee smelling gamy
smelling fishy and sporting a strawberry
on my neck. I could never charm
the mothers, although the fathers ogled
me. I was exactly what mothers had warned
their sons against. I was quicksand
I was trouble in the afternoon. I was
the alley cat you don't bring home.
I was the dirty book you don't leave out
for your mother to see. I was the center-
fold you masturbate with then discard.
Where I came from, the nights I had wandered
and survived, scared them, and where
I would go they never imagined.
Ah, what you wanted for your sons
were little ladies hatched from the eggs
of pearls like pink and silver lizards
cool, well behaved and impervious
to desire and weather alike. Mostly
that's who they married and left.
Oh, mamas, I would have been your friend.
I would have cooked for you and held you.
I might have rattled the windows
of your sorry marriages, but I would
have loved you better than you know
how to love yourselves, bitter sisters.
Dam Piercy's work just knocks me uot!