|Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)|
Effort at Speech Between Two People
: Speak to me. Take my hand. What are you now?I will tell you all. I will conceal nothing.When I was three, a little child read a story about arabbitwho died, in the story, and I crawled under a chair :a pink rabbit : it was my birthday, and a candleburnt a sore spot on my finger, and I was told to behappy.: Oh, grow to know me. I am not happy. I will beopen:Now I am thinking of white sails against a sky likemusic,
like glad horns blowing, and birds tilting, and an armabout me.
There was one I loved, who wanted to live, sailing.: Speak to me. Take my hand. What are you now?
When I was nine, I was fruitily sentimental,
fluid : and my widowed aunt played Chopin,
and I bent my head to the painted woodwork, and wept.
I want now to be close to you. I would
link the minutes of my days close, somehow, to yourdays.: I am not happy. I will be open.I have liked lamps in evening corners, and quietpoems.
There has been fear in my life. Sometimes Ispeculate
On what a tragedy his life was, really.: Take my hand. Fist my mind in your hand. Whatare you now?
When I was fourteen, I had dreams of suicide,
and I stood at a steep window, at sunset, hopingtoward death :
if the light had not melted clouds and plains tobeauty,
if light had not transformed that day, I would haveleapt.
I am unhappy. I am lonely. Speak to me.: I will be open. I think he never loved me:
he loved the bright beaches, the little lips of foam
that ride small waves, he loved the veer of gulls:
he said with a gay mouth: I love you. Grow toknow me.: What are you now? If we could touch one another,
if these our separate entities could come to grips,
clenched like a Chinese puzzle . . . yesterday
I stood in a crowded street that was live with people,
and no one spoke a word, and the morning shone.
Everyone silent, moving . . . Take my hand.Speak to me.