Friday, February 18, 2011

'Effigy in Oak' by Jen Luévano

My tongue being plowed for the season
I can only watch my hands breaking into a thousand latch-key saints
          in the sodium light of this afternoon.
Are we caught here,  hypnotized
by the power of our own chaos?

Once, I saw Mother press her breasts to the white pane of a January window
and say, "They are mansions of energy.  Do not forget this."
This was her revolution of tenderness

We have always been an inch behind
in saviors, haven't we?
Because you have nothing, I will tell you this:
To keep from committing evil,
a holy man in India squatted for forty years,
          never moving.
The townspeople watched as his chair of excrement grew,
lifting him from the ground into heaven.

This has nothing to do with you.

Mother says she cannot understand poetry,
That she has no pain to write about.
Did you tell her this?
We must reassemble our lives, Dad.

They are leaves being let go by a tree
far from our house.

(selected by Clayton Eshleman,  UofA AWP selection, 1992)

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