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More poems by Adrienne RichAdrienne Rich | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Adrienne RichBooks by Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich

Something spreading underground won't speak to us
under skin won't declare itself
not all life-forms want dialogue with the
machine-gods in their drama    hogging down
the deep bush    clear-cutting refugees
from ancient or transient villages into
our opportunistic fervor    to search
                          crazily for a host    a lifeboat

Suddenly instead of art we're eyeing
organisms traced and stained on cathedral transparencies
cruel blues    embroidered purples    succinct yellows
a beautiful tumor


I guess you're not alone    I fear you're alone
There's, of course, poetry:
awful bridge rising over naked air:    I first
took it as just a continuation of the road: 
"a masterpiece of engineering
praised, etc."    then on the radio: 
"incline too steep for ease of, etc."
Drove it nonetheless because I had to
this being how—    So this is how
I find you:    alive and more


As if (how many conditionals must we suffer?) 
I'm driving to your side
—an intimate collusion—
packed in the trunk my bag of foils for fencing with pain
glasses of varying spectrum for sun or fog or sun-struck
                               rain or bitterest night my sack of hidden
poetries, old glue shredding from their spines

my time exposure of the Leonids
                                                    over Joshua Tree

As if we're going to win this    O because


If you have a sister I am not she
nor your mother nor you my daughter
nor are we lovers or any kind of couple
        except in the intensive care
                                  of poetry and
death's master plan    architecture-in-progress
draft elevations of a black-and-white mosaic dome
the master left on your doorstep
with a white card in black calligraphy:
             Make what you will of this
         As if leaving purple roses


If (how many conditionals must we suffer?)
I tell you a letter from the master
is lying on my own doorstep
glued there with leaves and rain
and I haven't bent to it yet
                            if I tell you I surmise
    he writes differently to me:

        Do as you will, you have had your life
             many have not

signing it in his olden script:

        Meister aus Deutschland


In coldest Europe    end of that war
frozen domes    iron railings frozen    stoves lit in the
memory banks of cold

the Nike of Samothrace
on a staircase    wings in blazing
backdraft    said to me
: : to everyone she met
        Displaced, amputated    never discount me

        indented in disaster    striding
            at the head of stairs

                for Tory Dent

Added: 25 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 20 Jan 2019 9:54 AM | Viewed: 8009 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/3904/ | Viewed on 20 January 2019.
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