Sunday, April 17, 2011

Infusion of Red

Your scissors work their way around my ears,
munching my hair like lettuce: thin crunches
that, when the cold steel lays flat
to the temporal bone, sound exactly like
the crackling cartilage under my thumbs
when I work on a difficult shoulder.

You would think a cottonwood tree in Spring,
throwing down wisps of white and gray.
I sweep it up afterwards. Barely enough
to line a mouse's nest. My son's thick brown stuff
fills the dustpan: he could fit out
every bird and rodent in Portland. Or

you might think
of the frayed cuffs of a gray silk shirt
useless now for going out, but still
sweet enough to toy with absently
when the afternoon sun is vanishing
behind laid courses of cloud. Or --

listen, the truth is
no one's going to think of it all.
Get a shower, man. Wipe down your table.
Think of all you ever knew or dreamed
about working a guarded sacrum:
How with one hand on the ribs,
and one palm cradling the iliac crest,
you will gently, gently begin to rock
the whole frame. Casting off at last.

The same wind that takes
the cottonwood floss over the fence
and that builds Marpa's tower of cloud
to hide the sun, the same wind that
fills the sails of that bloody stubborn bark
easing slowly down the skids into the water:
the very same wind is carrying

in sly hidden packets of transparent air
the crimson, the scarlet, the ruby
screaming red into your blood.
Breathe deep. Be an old man: be a
wicked impossible infusion of red
into the pale world.

In response to this Morning Porch post.


David said...

While you were writing that - guess what - my wife was giving me a haircut. And after she said "Go see how it looks." And of course I stopped at the computer on the way and there was your poem of the day.
Synchonistic! Hairs all lining up like ley lines and power spots. Hairmonic convergence!

Dale said...

:-) I love that the internet reveals these moments to us. They're happening all the time, of course, all these convergences. But we can see so many more of them now!

Dick said...

Beautiful, Dale. From the intimate to the panoramic.