by Allison Grayhurst
A strange cup of blending flavours,
expelling creatures from the side of the house.
A gift is given, a gift is received
as God makes good the sickness of the spirit
by giving equal strength to bare the need.
The money comes in its perfect place,
goes and brings my faith to the floor, then again
arrives to give relief to our hungry household.
My temperament is flanked by despair, rage
wonder and belief and so it will always be as the years
walk over me and I walk over them.
I hold these cards. I hold them without decision
or seeing another way to stand. I must come to peace
with my colours, lift my umbrella and love the rain.
It is my stance
that will-power or therapy cannot change.
In waves the darkness spins around. With only light and light alone
the miracles of God abound. I call to you. I am
owned by you. Your mercy is my mercy. At your core I
find my womb and my stretching ground. Help me to be still
and therefore to be free. Let my love for you overtake
and these disappointments that plague, help me to see they will never leave
but your love will heal and the healer
will not condemn.
Bleed and cup my blood
into the robe of your ever-after.
Be on your feet and bark at the joy
that lit fire and now is nowhere.
Spider in my sink, spider that is holy.
I want to kill you, but I will not. Today,
I empathize with your scurrying fear
and how you dangle, almost flying.
How long must I sleep beside the lizards, with
their devouring claws and eclipsing cold scales?
In a river, the laundry was made. Soft and thunderstruck,
you are in an open yard, counting rooftops
and dewdrops simultaneously, keeping in time
with the innate music that saturates your origami mind.
Breastkisses, belllykisses. It started and it is
rushing, restless and rained-on. You know a place
where traffic will not find us, where fingertips are never afraid
of fondling, and noise is floating overhead like a weather balloon.
Insanity scrapes the insides of shells until all flesh is gone,
consumed by a dead-hour echo of a pulse.
Step on me, I want to be stepped on, torn
apart by a moth. Gritty nails and wrinkled throats.
You give pressure to the cord. I am
losing myself to the undercurrent surfacing -
thwarted by my own aggression and desires growing
a thousand eyes.
Bridges everywhere I will not cross because I have crossed
into a more real role. I dont smile unless I feel it. I feel it
hardly looking at pictures. But at you,
it is different, always established that I will fall backwards
into the water for you and you will be warm for me,
lap at my earlobes, under my knee caps, morphing your
temporal needs with my own. Faith, you said,
cannot be a part-time affair.
You land on my petals, demonstrate
vulnerability, wise in the ways of how to gently land
and how to bud at zero speed.
surrounded by the plain,
brings flavour to the ordinary,
brings dance to the immobilized
and pattern to the monotone.
Small thing glistening
like a heart inexperienced in hope
but wanting the privilege.
Small pain attached to the nerves
slicing away all good pleasure,
making solace impenetrable.
Small thimble that holds the glory
and spills over onto the soft ground.
Small night that doesnt have an imprint
but has ability for irreversible change.
Small window I look through
seeing what is small
and wanting nothing big.
Those years of voyaging
too long beneath your axe-shelter
on foreign terrain . . .
Those years of you with
your spiritual arrogance, your perfect face and
careless conceit, all behind me
now like a madness hatched and slaughtered.
Though I try to stand straight on the path
of forgiveness, in memory, I rebleed
my muzzled cry. And anger as deep
as your self-confidence bridles my
heart again in that old ache, that sick
humiliation; your vindictive laughter, your
From you, the cut neck, the finger pointing.
From you, something
to recover from.
Your voice is always frantic, shooting like bullets
randomly into the air. Your eyes are always electric,
tottering on insanitys indefinable edge. At the corner,
I see you. Myself, wanting to avoid the face I once believed in,
wanting to slow and vanish before you lift your head and see me -
bright and unaware of the hesitation I harbour - pounds in my pockets,
I have nothing to give you but trite formalities and the illusion of ease.
I have been finished with you long ago. I have been raised up
from my desperation. I carry my lamp, fuelled by a trust in something better.
Your son, like you, has a beautiful smile. But in no way can he hide
his drowning - lingering for years on fears full shore, serving his dark mistrust
and the worm that he keeps under his bed.
Bless you both. Bless you for the green grass you tried to grow.
You reached, but never far enough to make a difference.
Bless you both. I have no hatred. I have no longing. I have only
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