Measure for Measure, October 2014

Airport in Early Morning

I have ovaries for heads;
I am of two minds.
I am leaving the children in a burning bus.
Let me eat my mouth
If it will make me forget
The drowning horse that is wading through my chest.
Here a red locust
Hangs from our dog, Poco.
It is a popped, red tomato boiling in my throat.
Losing the weight,
Arranging a marriage,
My herds of goats trudge through lowly, tangled power lines.
Rubbing the cumin,
The coconut jewelry,
I’m stringing the laundry; the little birds will peck it till it’s dry.
The silence and breast,
The shirt and the dress,
I live in a star, the stroking lotion promise and its death.
Flogging my mother,
My master, my father,
A cherry Life Saver, melting in the heat of my mouth.
Beating my grandson
With handfuls of sweet corn,
My uncle, my asthma, melting in the shoddy yellow house.

—Bhajan in Bageshri

The Shower

When I was in India,
My favorite part of the day
Was my shower, at sunset;
Not because it was so hot,
And the water so cold,
But because I would look up
At the lizard on the ceiling
And the spiders on the ceiling
And think to myself:
“What words will I use?”

I Keep My Greatness As My Secret

Late comes my greatest hour
-The midnight hour, where
I can look in the mirror
And turn the lamp on and off.
I am, I am not, I am.
And each night I create myself
And suffer my dissolution, only
For the great pleasure of my
Resurrection in the lamplight.
My fingers tremble with power
And my own beauty astounds me.
Is rebirth at your fingertips?
Sometimes the lights flicker
For hours on end; I cannot decide
How the world deserves me.
Is death in your hands?
I am, I am not, I am.
In each house, lights flicker.
The world wakes, tired and smiling.

P.J. Sauerteig

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