Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Color of Shells

A cold white morning. Even the crows were silent: when I walked down the drive, they glided overhead towards their morning gathering without a word.

My life is very quiet right now in all its externals, but my mind is a boiling hive. All of my past is vivid to me. There is no long ago, no blue distance. Everything is here, now, urgent. I feel I have never settled anything, never closed any account. Anything might break open again.

I lay my hand on your chest, and roll your cheek into the crook of my elbow; the other hand makes one long stroke over the collarbone, the throat, the face. I end with my fingers tangled in the hair of your scalp, gently pulling your hair. Coda.

… So here is the fisherman
who never caught a thing, having moonlit
conversation in the reeds. She
is covered with scales and sinuous as
brocade. She listens
but will not grant
a mansion for his wife…

-- “Parable of the Fish”, Luisa Igloria, The Saints of Streets

This poem goes walking with me, up the strange little bluff with its terraced, impossibly-named streets (Billingher Drive, Beyrl Terrace). It follows me from the hondonada of 82nd Avenue to the little upland where Dale and Martha are making their last stand.

His hair is fading to the color of shells: so it is, too.


Zhoen said...

Iridescent pearly hair?

Dale said...

I was thinking more of bleached-out sand dollars :-)