INHERITANCE

 

If I am half of you

equally,
who am I alone,

what is a body?

 

Sea stars make

new arms,

they have to

reach away

from

themselves

completely.

 

Symmetry,

old mystery,

forms from

nothing,

budding

 

Buddha­-blind,

mindless of I,

drawing shapes

in the shadows.

 

 

CULTIVAR

 

We named you before we knew you,

as it is our nature to do,
for from your form
alone we cannot grasp

the outline of your future path.

 

Even orchids have clumsy

families and orders
that fill our mouths
with consonants, vowels,

leaving no likeness

 

of beauty divergent,

peculiar and plain.

The scalloped lips

open to quietly defy

this word we say,
the unknowable name.

 

 

FOR EVE

 

 

Here is no map only
a compass of spiritless stars.

Cast your eyes in a black pond

to trace and carve your gods.

 

I imagine you sent out

into the wilderness

drawing lines in the pitch

as the stars flick on,

 

a canopy of animals

you croon to sleep,

content as yet to

dream no dreams.

 

 

THE SHAPE OF SOUND

 

I emit a cry. Reverse time:

reverberated echoes pitch into

my canals as I fly. The vibrations

 

of location are constantly unstable;
they hurtle through fog with blinding

speed. Sable ears eat and in my constant

 

need to see shape, I repeat and repeat

my sight cry until I think I might die,

my leathery arms beating the black

 

expanse of a hole­punched sky.

Pinpricks of light leak in where

I have been. Deaths fill my will;

 

I am insatiate and hunger during
the night. Nocturnal, my flight is

drunken. In one moment I have risen

 

and sunken, snatching bits of cloth

from the air. They taste of sheets.

They are white, flaky sweets, heated

 

snowflakes that moisten and ripen
to the blooming delight of the taste buds.

Such snippets flood the senses

 

in dose after dose, all asunder.I wonder

if I’ve made a blunder and am feasting on

the ghosts of fluttering flowers,

 

unfurling under these pale moonlit hours.

I’ve scoured the night with a consuming

sight, crying out and devouring

 

throughout the night from a dizzying

height; yet I sense a presence that is

a gift to me, that could be my

 

eyes where I flap blindly. Why

does she hurdle ahead at a lone

street lamp? Her hundred eyes

 

remain dry in this dread damp

that stains the air, that melts

in particles, kissing, touching,

 

nowhere. She is shaped like

whiteness fair, a single tissue tutu

dancing in wet air: a violent ballet,

 

a lovely display. She seems
to have no ears, only two curves,

two limb­like antennae. I should

 

consume her and mate her senses

to mine. She would hear; I would

not be blind.

 

II

I am a dusty aerialist; flakes
of me flutter residually; I am not

a fusty imagist. I do not mold.

 

I do not believe I shall grow
so old, and I am dry. You will never
see me cry, you will never see me green.

 

I am not spiteful, I am not mean.
I am a light white thing, with albino

gypsy wings that wander in cycles

 

and seem to swing crazily towards

this beam, this electric moon. It hums

to me constantly and I am wired,

 

I am all fired up by its promise of stability.

It is a spark, dangling in a bowl of glass

from a metal rod. It is a god against the

 

dark mass of sky, and I wonder why

I am not allowed to fly inside if I

am pure and dry. I have not cried.

 

I have been the shape of blankness.

An unused tissue leaves no residue;

purity is the most sincere frankness.

 

Give me this death, this light, this

bliss I flit my many eyes against,

knocking wildly and yes, I’ve sensed

 

that the filament in it is trapped. It is

shocking to me it can adapt in its

glass, but I cannot get in to live

 

or die, to be loved or be dried, and I

would try. Flickering, flying, I imagine

love is like dying, an all­-consuming

 

lightness that will descend into

falling. In-­between the daze
I think I feel him calling:

 

a sound overtakes me, a metallic

luster that shakes me more to the

core than any quake. I split into

 

levels that tremble and shiver

at variations and intervals, in

colors: shining blues and reds,

 

mostly, watercolor slews in my
head, transparent and ghostly.
I’ve been diluted, my wings are muted.

 

I fall to the call. It is always in me,

it has always been me, or I’ve never

been loved at all.

 

III

He comes; he is all tongue.

I am lidless, I cannot close

my eyes. This wetness must

 

be forced tears; I flake the

dust of damp fears—this is

what it means to cry.

 

Gleaming gleaned at this point:

Impaled on the clenched teeth.
In the air, all is fair, with a whole

 

world beneath. This is the above
love, the consummation in great heights.

See the whirring of trailing lights.

 

I love you, I hate you,

I want you, I take you,

 

I kiss you, I break you,

I spit you, I ate you

 

I am in you
( you are in me )

I cocoon you

( you can spin me )

 

Caught and drunk in the draught,

sunk and sought in the tongue
of a speechless yet mindful thought­-

 

this is the falling of loving and dying.
I have been spun inside of love, have not
been above it or outside it as I thought.

 

I am caught and dried. I have died as
I have fallen into a light love; this bliss
of a dark spark is one we two are not above.

 

 


Myra Pearson is an American poet from Blacksburg, Virginia. Her work has appeared in the Boston Poetry Magazine and Chiron Review and she was nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize. Currently she lives in Korea and teaches at Duksung Women’s University.

 

https://myra-pearson.squarespace.com/

 

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Cover Photo: Joana Coccarelli (https://www.flickr.com/photos/narghee-la/)

 

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