The first nite...our lips touched...I
a bell-shaped silence ringing...the current hit
surface disregarding a thirty year span our
lips unlocked time.
Estuaries have flown blue between us, I
her student then she became minen remembering--
from the night giving off flames and the dark
After that, it was something to look forward to
parting, the hand on hand, my height bending
to her ... promises ... seeing each other
sooner than we would
There was a tower in the middle of all this
in the tower a wide bed where we faced each other
nearby on the counter, the plates sat
in a stack of forever.
Later, we would find the dirt road that led
back to the first female bones...Africa;
we would stand in the heat and wait for a broken
bus to take us there.
Meanwhile, the plates hovered behind us
and the tower that was nowhere to be found
was always there...on the very top floor, the bed
a light in the window.
Words trembled in her mouth and she became memory--
W.H. Auden (he was well advanced in years) and
Muriel Rukeyser (I liked her very much)--
Always there were the Greeks...(after you read them
there is nothing else...)and the Trojans marching
through the hills of the Peleponnese on
the table between us.
Words trembled in her mouth and I heard the
warring cries, fiercely creating the world
that would precede us...the plates lifted
off the ledge, spinning.
She was telling me of her trip to Crete
(she entered the shrine of Knossis to find Greek
boys resting their boom box on the throne
where she worshipped
King Minos, the golden mask,)
later I would
mail her a Minoan fresco, Agean blue, postmarked
Iraklio: where I scrawled, I am looking at images
Statues of a female past, larger
a woman is a tower, towering
a woman is a bed, beckoning
the splates spinnning, sing
That was the then I didn't expect to end
She might have said...
The Muses have made me happy
in my lifetime
And when I die
I shall never be forgotten
She might have said that ...(but)mortality...
Telling it slant, one of us would have said:
There is no place for grief,
In a house which serves the Muse;
Our own is no exception
Words trembled in our mouths...we hinted at
torture but kept the scars hidden...blue...
the purpose of pain is to transform
here for other Sapphics
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a woman alone poems ( by Janet Mason)
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You burn me
as long as you wish
traversed old ground...
early loves, the Italian woman twice my age;
the lover she traveled with, smoking at
the gates of the temple
....we did the same
... .... in our youth....
I woke to find myself in the
bed, the tower
a window that opened to the dirt road
that would take us back...first the
stacked plates teetering.
[When I was young and in love,]
.... ..... .... I too wove garlands
We wore our scars like garlands...in the tower,
in the same bed where we couldn't look at each other,
we followed ourselves to the
the scars led the way.
There were gifts, the pebble from Lesvos,
my slim volume of poems, It's so Greek, she wrote
singing off, love, Alex, she was memory to me
recognizing a voice.
In the tower, I saw her as she was before, and
I clung to the bars of the dream and they were said,
And pain's derisive hand had given me rest
From the night giving...
Pain was meant to transform
but as the end
came (and it is coming)
it pulled time's
needle tight through the center of
her life, living.
There is no way out but through, no flash,
no brilliance to end it all; perhaps it is true
of all timeless people that age is delayed
until death exacts it.
The last time we spoke, I couldn't ask...
how she was, I knew from others the answer:
fine. Fine~ as in finished, I couldn't
begin to hear it.
I was falling apart then in ways I had never...
her voice was a hand reaching out to
shelter me, the static on the phone, half notes,
in Greek refrain.
I tell you;
... .... in time to come,
someone will remember us.
Her last message, you take
care of yourself
was a call to memory, the realization
that all we have is the self, without that
the rest is nothing.
As I walked by, the tower became a house,
the house a bedroom window wide open
to frozen winds burning away with
the rest of her life.
Who knew it would come to
Icy winds gusted into the tower, and the
life took itself away...away...the plates
came crashing down.
Everything trembled in the night giving off
flames, and the dark/renewing...the words
ceased and our lips as they touched, spoke