Poetry Marathon: final poem! (#12) ~ use line from a book (where everything is music)

Chinese art


So many of my friends     even my family

want labels. Want each part of me divided

parsed into neatly organised boxes

drawers     shelves    folders    trashcans

My hands should go into that grey box

marked in black letters   worker

My ears should go into a piano bench

tagged with a sticky note   where everything is music

My feet quiescent in an old shoebox

that bears the sticker runner. So many miles.

Nearby a roll of foamcore holds a collage

ravens and foxes and nautilus shells. Yūgen 

haunter of woods who has no words for green love.

Into this basket woven by Rwandan women

I squish my ovaries    identified as    breeder

not to be confused with mother, safely stored

between the foxed pages of a thesaurus.

On an adjacent shelf, beside a scarlet chop,

my tattered heart nestles in a bird nest

barely large enough to hold its unnamed pieces.

Its wings are splinted now.

An arm is wrapped in a threadbare infant quilt

a cracked knee beneath a bronze tray

inside a lacquered box a teacup   stained

with tea leaves that knew the future once.

Somewhere among these scraps & shards

a compass might point north, and pieces

heed a lodestone’s call. But perhaps words

are not music, and pieces never make a whole.

But possibly… music is the skeleton of language

and song lives within each name. I sing myself,

gestalt of broken pottery, torn pages, lost ribbon.

I sing myself.

Published by: Britton Gildersleeve

Writer Britton Gildersleeve grew up in Southeast Asia, moved to the Middle East when she married, and returned to Oklahoma to raise her two sons. Now that they're grown, she and her beloved live in Virginia, where she can be closer to sons, daughter-in-law, & grandsons. Sometimes she hears voices, so she writes ~ And she drinks a lot of tea.

Categories poetry, poetry marathonTags, 1 Comment

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