Friday, December 14, 2007

"My hands know/ so little of your hands."

I sleep late. I get up. We eat a late breakfast. I settle in to grade papers from the diminishing stack on my desk, here in the corner of the bedroom. My laptop is set up on a small folding table. As I grade each essay, I fold it in half with just the writer's name visible and staple it closed. I add it to the growing stack against the wall. So pass the days, with breaks for tea or something light to eat. We fix dinner sometime around six. We eat and watch the television. I move to the Shaker rocker in the corner of the living room, turn on the lamp, and pick up my quilting--sometimes for an hour, sometimes more. The current quilt is starting to near completion; I'm still hoping to finish it in the next week.
* * *
Here's a poem by Tim Seibles, from his chapbook Ten Miles an Hour, published in 1998 by Mille Grazie Press:
Not Spoken

As if thirst were not a wound.
As if the thirst for company were not a wound.

Consciousness the one shadow
from which light grows.

As if all ache flowed from the same bruise.

Near dawn. My blood caught in its circle.
I think of your body your legs opening.

And the light hairs strung along your wrists.

As if your shoulders.
As if the muscular turn of your hips.
As if I could tilt your mouth
to this dent in my chest.

So, bit by bit, it becomes unmistakable.
This not knowing how to say.

As if I had already broken
into the last room and found the words
still not English.

As if being flesh were not call enough.

Why stay here to be American?
Where what is exactly sexual has no country.

Let’s go.
Whole words. Whole worlds slow
between us. Trying to pronounce themselves.

The body, the one sacred book.

My hand. My hands know
so little of your hands.

The names of pleasure held
in chains taken in ships.

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