22 April 2008

Poem: "Where" by Mary Jo Bang

I was reading Mary Jo Bang's extraordinary book, Elegy, over the weekend, and had wanted to post a poem from it...yesterday's news about Toni Brown makes me feel it even more imperative that I put something up. This is also a slight tip of the hat to John, who'd asked me about Elegy earlier this month, and has done an amazing job of posting a poem a day this April.


In this cicada city, we are dead,
We are quiet, we are home.
Here, you belong

To me. I, to you. The trees lurch
Toward later summer, reach
Toward the window

Where glass makes mirror
Of the sitting. Lightning forks.
All directions lead to my empty head

Bent over a box of cicatrix ash.
My mothering lips are stitched
Shut by sorrow.

What was once a mind
Is pried open.
Look, doctor, at the tangle

Of synapse
Where the pearl should be.
And then, distraction --

The pink Mobius strip dips down
And begins its torturous twist.
The current catches

The tree and drags me forward.
Toward the missing beginning.

(Graywolf Press, 2007)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I came here thinking about Toni, who was a friend, and this is speaking to me so strongly.

I linked to your post about Toni and the memorials, as well. Hope that is okay.