Saturday, January 24, 2009

WINDOW CURTAINS HALF-DRAWN



In the upstairs room, the half-drawn
window curtains swell and flutter and flare.
Here she sat at a table and sang to herself,
spreading out a square of fine white canvas.

Measured, cut and folded it, made flawless
elegant stitches in it. Hung it and it began
to glow as if a temple dancer turned
within the drifting folds -- bringing forth

the dancer and bringing forth the man
torn apart, scattered and collected up
while in the dancer's embrace.
In the upstairs room, in the full sunlight,

I follow the turnings of the singing
and the contours of slowly dancing air
out across rooftops and high tree branches.
It is how I come to stand in a stone street

beneath a window at which a woman
waits, subtly leaning. I follow the way
through the black glass of that hair,
the charcoal and pearl of that shoulder.

How I feel the pulse in the flesh I wear
travelling from the invisible to the invisible.
Yet how, from where I stand in the room,
the quick ray in the curtains, the small gust

and swaying, is a breathful of syllables,
the name of the one who lives in the house.
How the syllables are a sewing
of what I see to what I cannot see.

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