Poem 152

for my dear friend in a world made of paper. best of luck.


twenty less pounds

Don’t take my hunger

Fill me instead with fistfuls

Of soil, make me fragrant

Weigh my body with earthsod

But make me weightless

Trim my waistline—beautiful in

The space that I am empty

Make me ephemeral

When I move, know my shadows

Take my longing, but please

Leave the hunger, the will to eat

Handfulls of petals like a reptile

Make me scale-less—take the lines

Of my skin and smooth me slowly

Like a topsheet—on a freshbed in

the evening:make the light from the street

cars seem organic, make it whiter,

with the glow of my new skin,

fill my pockets full of happiness

make it opium: sleep addictive,

wake me when I’m famous,

and the whole world knows my

loveliness—knows my nose bridge

but not my heritage, and the heart

beat of my lover is a whisper

I invented to cure the silence

Make him incredible but not so

Impossible that I never know him,

make my night-dress something hapless

that I untie with my dosage

and remember I was young once,

young and hungry—don’t take my hunger

just fill me up and sew me tighter

make me thin.

—ECW

Poem 13 Revised

cycles

 

she thought she could be beautiful if only

she could decide

what beauty was and was not

afraid of rabbit holes and conversation lulls

speak more candidly, sharpen your arrow tongue

maybe you’re afraid—so be it so be it

 

she knew she could decide beauty was

if only with a scrap of paper;

water & pigment

—oh—and a brush

but that would be hindering…

a meddlesome fall dries the colors to their leaves…

to paint them why cant they be everything at once

 

isn’t true beauty potential,

the potential to be everything at once

I want all the colors at once I once

knew a girl with an eye full of sun drops and cancer in her bones

cut her canvas with a house key and set

mixing the oils with her fingertips—

if only mixing was enough

like sex to beget the baby, forget the baby or the potential of a maybe

the acting graces are beauty enough keep going, don’t worry keep going.

 

I thought I could be beautiful by watching the sky

and tracking the hurricane negotiations from the shore

close enough to hear the thunder chuckle

opened my eyes to lightening and was blinded by

color—light was everything at once.

 

I tracked the stars in the sand with a walking stick

made their maps dance in the valleys of my footprints

told the truth of their location and nothing more

was that not beauty enough

is said of ideals and most are untrue

the tales of lions dancing in the heaven crest

all the rest is black, like the inner side of a resting eye

with the tide quieting the constellations

the sea is black with possibilities

it may be anything, at once.

—ECW

Poem 13 EditingPoem 13 Original

Poem 13

cycles
she thought she could be beautiful if only she could
decide what beauty was and was not
afraid of frostbit eyes how the
world wears white and the bodies grey
I’m asking you
for a straight answer maybe you’re afraid
so I can’t have one so be it… so be it
she knew she could decide beauty was
if only with pen and paper
water and pigment—oh—and a brush
but that would be limiting…
that would dry the colors to the leaves wouldn’t it
to paint them why can’t they be everything at once
isn’t that true beauty: potential
the potential to be everything at once
I want all the colors at once I once knew a girl
with an eye for beauty and a body stitched in pain,
discarding a canvas to mix the oils:
if only mixing was beauty enough—
like sex to beget the baby—forget the baby… the potential
of the baby or even the potential of the potential is
beauty enough to keep going don’t worry what reactions may decide keep going
I thought I could be beautiful by watching
those catastrophes I deemed worthy of emulating
when opening my eyes, dilating my own capacity to see
the colors I am blinded, don’t blame the tree
for promising winter with its descent of leaves
don’t fault the sunset for the following evening
trailing all perfection comes the rest…
all the rest resting until life exhales brightness again
                        consider black as nothing less valuable than
the potential for all hues close your eyes
            begin understanding beauty She. Is. Beautiful.
when she stopped imitating the retreating sun
or the swan-song autumn she is beautiful
when she tarried her quest for perfection falling free
to the wind as petals do mourn not
the loss of beauty my love
dress your hands arms and eyes
                        in black to relish this indecisive moment
this place of complacent perfection where
                        anything is possible and only hued
hubris decides.
–ECW