If poems are grafts onto sound waves then maybe mountains are grafts on the air. I looked at a crack in the pavement upon which rain was falling—it seemed to simmer—and I thought about what to call it until I realized it was a seam of obsidian. It named itself to me. Something much darker is there, and I’m not talking about the color, I’m talking about how deep it can go, and how in its liquid pool it suggests a depthless depth. It suggests, even, eternity, and here it is only a sly slick in the road.
The tree branches were furred with blossoms; these I reached out and touched with my hand. The rain fell into my hair. I thought about what Alice said, how’d she’d taken her lantern into the bowels of an epic because this was difficult, and no path had been forged there before of woman’s foot. Men, you see, long to think of themselves always as the only one doing a thing. A male writer loves to be alone and think himself alone. Woman are disobedient and multivocal and fractious and other. We are others to ourselves and others to others and essential to everyone.
I’m tired of thinking about how men write or what they do.
I’m most at ease with the many voices, or the single voice who perceives the many. I am tired of your bent, condescending listening, and though it is a treasure to me, I am tired of imagining my face as it appears to others. I am tired of imagining my mouth forming words.
All the invocations of spring have dogged me, those dogwoods. Deferential daffodils; the glad rain; the crocus joys; the conceit of easy time. Call to me clouds of blossom; call to me dread bloom and dread pink.
This is the woman’s season, the woman’s womb: fecundity and riot, the same coin. I reject it.
Somewhere in winter, I was already full in my knowing.
Somewhere in winter, I surfaced from a blade of rain, from a shear of snow. I came complete to the scene, surveyed it, and readied my hand to hold only the most delicate things: a perfect bead of dew, a leaf.
Your biggest complaint is that we live in miniature, but you never hold out your hand. You are never humbled to receive.
He that does not bow cannot know.
A woman with long, unruly gray hair told me she was tired tonight. She had breathed fire, and it had spent her.
A body and a star, in one person.
Even now I crackle on the ember of her burning, and even now imagine a new myth and a new day.
The world begins anew despite the season you have claimed. Imagine relinquishing all body; imagine rubbing out your boundaries as if with oil. It takes a heavy thumb, but it can be done.
Sometimes a hero is not a person at all; sometimes a hero is a sound wave; sometimes a hero is a song; sometimes a hero is a soothsayer; sometimes a hero is a dream; sometimes a hero cannot be named.
Sometimes a hero is being changed.