Friday, April 9, 2010

"Older." This one is a baby, mere hours old.


silentia muta noctis – deep speechlessness of night”

—Anne Carson, “Nox”

Photo by Nicolette Van Doorn

I sometimes think I am older

than anyone. Older than

my mother, even now

disguising her grey

over the kitchen sink.

Older than Millay, who

around this time years ago

interrogated returning Spring.

I have no words

for the dunes. Theirs is a history

of collected animals long gone,

crushed to sand by

marching years.

Deepest cloud shadows pass.

If there is

anything older than clouds,

let it speak.

I hear thunder. Then

I remember

something older

than mothers.

Older than sand, salt. Than

calm above clouds or ground water

below: the spirit of what is loved.

Thread so fine. Less

than spider’s silk, knotted

at each worldly thing, tying it

secretly to Earth. Each time

I pass

beach grass

foot path

lost ring

face-up mirror

abandoned couch

I feel a tug.

In the deep speechlessness of night

it was once thought

the brain rested. We now know

it travels. Speaks in our place

In imaginary fields

At imaginary podiums.

It says Remember

while our mouths remain still.

It tugs at the thread,

the day’s face-up mirrors.

I wake with the strangest feeling.

as though, having been somewhere,

I harvested someone else’s life,

was harvested myself.

Was older, even, than

the scythe doing the work.