Annie Finch


My mother like the waves takes her life back
and back; she is not anything like I.
She gave her land to strangers, and she calls
them to her room. They will go back. And I.

She glows along my night as richly hued
as fishes grow, when their sharp fins are viewed
through their long caverns' phosphorescent waves,
held in the darkness by the ocean's night.

She flutters down, so deeply that my sight
takes back its trust from clouds that glow with dawn
and turns back towards the night clouds of old white.
She flutters down, and I reach for the sight.

If ancestors are ranging, in a line
from grave through loin up to that upper room,
then she has seen them now, and I alone
wait, with another grave, another loin.

Their faces seem just like my mother's, those
I know the best. And though I don't know them,
to keep her in my sight, I service them.

Through one clear ocean, she fills up my sight
as slowly as soft clapboard dawn drawn slow
fills stairways, doors, rooms--as flowers weigh
rich orange colors towards an awaited day.

If she's a bat, I'll be her piece of fruit.
If she's the land, I will settle down,
and stoop to fill with ocean, or to drown.

Song From the Body of the World

" Inevitable, the body of the world
Weeps in inventive dust for the hiatus
that winks above it, bluet in your breasts."
--Hart Crane


Since the hiatus between all the searching
opens wherever I want it to go,
and since I am made of a body that ages
already wept for, and already gave
up for you, listen, and just once please fall
down to my hands; let this weeping be all;

with your breasts lost, once, in fog, as I counted
driving cascades all the way up to cloud,
I looked up slowly and found that before me
hung a small flower. I worshipped aloud.

"Bluet," I called it--knowing it would last
only as long as the blue in the sky
arching down to me. Then I saw the petals
pull from their center and began to cry
(Yes, I am listening, answered the bluet;
that's what I wanted, and now I will fall.)


Copyright (C) 1995 The Silence: A Literary Journal
and the author. All rights reserved.