changeling

March 11, 2007

To him the stars are glass
not fire. They speak in long echoes
like hospital corridors, feed him pills
that crush to dust and slow his blood
to clay. He strangles above himself
stretched to elastic, light captured

and dragged with a steel comb. He hears his voice:
the roadsign is speaking to me of heaven;
your eyes are snow-shakers;
we have swallowed a great white land.

He clutches a moment of rage,

hurls his chocolate from the car window
so it spreads on tarmac like an island.
He screams for more: no, not that:
more, more, more,

more.

His mother spits on his glasses,
bats at hairs that run like milk
before being severed and discarded like tears.
His father paints him again and again
searching for something.

Though they never mention it to one another
sometimes they listen to him in his sleep,
his half words, trills and moans
like whalesong. And sometimes,
when the air outside is clean and cool,
he speaks of crossing waters
where lillies scream like reflections
of battles that were never won
and never will be.

Of meadows whose grass binds wishes
and pulls them in embrace to root
and change. And of a people

with eyes like the outlines of fishes,
swimming with love and sweet indifference. A shore to dance on,
a forest to hide from the old ones
who fought when the sun was still swollen.

He stirs, screams. The house shudders.
His mother reads fairytales to calm him.

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3 Responses to “changeling”

  1. I’d like to hear you perform that. Very beautiful-and really love the use of speech ‘no not that, more, more, more’…i love speech in poems and that also communicates so much about human nature. Cool.

  2. Thanks sweetie. I’ve been trying to write this poem for years, it’s the third attempt. The first two were shockingly bad.

    endlessly

  3. wow. i love this, it’s like a document of when the world came screaming into the…er..world. the birth of the Earth, kinda, and all it’s troubles, or if you wanna be optomistic, potential. I don’t know if i got the right gist, but i got *a* gist – a particular cut of the ol’ giblet – and i liked it.

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