Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rua: An Elegy in Holes (Poem): Take Two

(Yes. Another poem. Or merely a take two from last week.)

After the feedback I got on this one, I've made some revisions so that it's more, I hope, charitable to readers. And while I like this version better, I am only one reader.

So, readers: what do you make of the changes (i.e. the stanza breaks and conclusion)?

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Rua: An Elegy in Holes

My journal propped to the day you fell around the earth, dropped to a point I can only approximate anymore with a secondhand map, some tacks, and a string to slice away the pudding skin of memory, I prop these skin-thin proofs in my aperture casement, watch you drop through my hunger by layers

like when we excavated the neighbor’s sandbox, made the hole so deep we could map every sheet of clay, stand tip-toed, arms raised against the grave, voice leveled into soil, and still hide from the world, though Mom still managed to find us, conjugating our name in the breeze—she must have mapped our desire from the womb, known we’d eventually start digging holes to contain the fire licking our bones,

the lust that’s propped me in the window of your first Auckland flat to watch you unpack—shirts, slacks, socks, shoes, suits, the nightly routine you’ve worn so long it’s threadbare at the knees; to air the ethereal between us with a length of mist, foreign soil, and mid-summer breeze, the line you’ll hang memories on after rain until they’re dry enough to take notes on, to slide into your billfold

beside NZ dollars creased in thirds, ridges grimy with the island’s fingerprints, like my camera lens, blurred by the hands of Māori kids trying to climb inside, to drop into this hole we’ve dug and prop themselves against the walls, their synaptic bodies nimble between word and memory, spun into gray matter knit breath and flesh into the triptych of my soul.