Nadine Sabra Meyer: Invocation: A Fragment

15 November 2018


The riptide’s call, the willow’s conflagration,
loss’s swaddled robin. I could have loved you in my crenulated
dark, a flaw, globed and fingerprinted, a pearl beneath
my tongue. Instead, this plush dark. Come, emptiness,
the bell wired to its ring. Come, a field is burning in the sun.
Come, for loss is vagrant, is familiar as the body I live in.
Though I am staggered, I am not undone.
.. .. ..
The peonies have fallen into bloom again. What stupidity
is desire: a thrush's call skating an empty sky,
the moon hanging like a strip of wallpaper, a lantern
above a narrow bed, its wake,
endlessly exasperating circles beneath the water strider's six legs.
.. .. ..
A flock of birds enters me. They bring with them pewter vowel-tones,
cornhusk, salt-ache, cicadas rattling their ashy skins.

I have become bird-call, train-whistle, a two-note warble.
.. .. ..
Late winter my mother would watch for the first robin, a sign of spring,
she’d say, though it is the chickadee who trills the phantom of my childhood

back to me, its plaintive, insistent calling of its own name
on a high branch outside my bedroom window: chickadee-dee-dee, its call

my infinite fine-boned reflection in the medicine cabinet glass,
a stuttered desire of notes, a throat hollowed by hunger.

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