Grace Sleeps through Poetry
First Friday Writing Group, Rollins Campus
Obligingly, into the circle of us, she falls,
clack and hum and hiss of our tongues
catching in the soft folds of her ears.
Intonations of syllables, rise and fall,
rise and fall until hills rumble with ponies
she shepherds through waves of wild iris.
Twitch in her eye, a swallowtail wing,
a word from a poem that flits too close—
like bone or good or come. I wonder
if she dreams like we do of being chased
or flying, and standing naked in the light.
Unruly ponies so close she can smell apples,
switch grass, the purple of their livers.
She sighs, senses us— a crooning thicket
reaching in to soothe our fingers
on the silk of her coat. Words
on our white leaves, the same
language we use to call for Grace—
a flying dog lofting in a room
of storytellers gone naked with our truths.
Dogs Barking in the Night
It is an ancient sound, almost
as familiar as the smell of smoke
to the marrow of bone.
I think I can recall
it back to the cradle, where it felt
heavier than the dry weight of kisses
across damp eyelids and more
dispossessed than the emptied hollows
of hunger or whispered lullabies.
It will always be night-speak,
the weight of stars in a dark blue window,
the yearning of earthbound souls
rhythmic breath and walls
kicked away like warm blankets
in this language of our dreaming—
one to another, back and forth,
and beyond solemn rooftops,
dark, quivering leaves,
and territories that cannot be claimed
by fences, instinct, or buried bones.