This love song is inspired by women who love women, women whose freedom is born of lies, women who must sometimes bury their former selves in order to live an authentic life. To these women I offer wedding bells of a different sort. Dedicated to T. and N.
you the shining thing
Meet me in the daffodils, that velvet field of sunlight.
Wear your braided necklace of hope and hazy dread.
Take this pipe and smoke a screen to shield us from their
We could be Victory winged, all marble veined and dead,
our gone heads with plaited locks
lazy maimed and
could mean freedom.
You could be a bell – you the shining thing.
And I the weather wounding you, whispering and flying.
I storm you sometimes. And I blow you sometimes and I sing.
And I wring you restless ‘til the breath of you is borne, rendered airy
as a mockie’s wing, secretive and torn. Even so I love your swells, your shoulder
dips, ma belle. Your hollow waist, your flaring mouth, your beaded lip that’s
could mean liberty.
I could be the bell, and you the gnomy hunchback
bending low into my tarnished coat, sucking dry my brassy womb
on cresting notes of sighing, rending me with loveliness, shy and slow as
lightning. My blood washed skirts, they float atop this bounded life I know. I call
you and I bawl until the clamor of me cracks and writes a history of
Meet me where the golden vista meets our bellies, swollen.
Bind your wrists. Bind our breasts.
Grab your hair and shear it.
Bells we are, these shining things, divinely tuned, a-pealing.
Victory, her head forgone above the prow is kneeling.
She’s woke. Unblessed.
Our time is chiming.
And know that you can bear it.
"you the shining thing" was part of my poetry reading at the NYC Poetry Festival with Art Kibbutz on Governors Island (July 30, 2017)