How Can It Be I Am No Longer I
Winter was the ravaging in the scarified Ghost garden, a freak of letters crossing down a rare Path bleak with poplars. Only the yew were a crewel Of kith at the fieldstone wall, annulled As a dulcimer cinched in a green velvet sack. To be damaged is to endanger—taut as the stark Throats of castrati in their choir, lymphless & fawning & pale. The miraculous conjoining Where the beamless air harms our self & lung, Our three-chambered heart & sternum, Where two made a monstrous Braid of other, ravishing. To damage is an animal hunch & urge, thou fallen—the marvelous much Is the piece of Pleiades the underworld calls The nightsky from their mud & rime. Perennials Ghost the ground & underground the coffled Veins, an aneurism of the ice & spectacle. I would not speak again. How flinching The world will seem—in the lynch Of light as I sail home in a winter steeled For the deaths of the few loved left living I will Always love. I was a flint To bliss & barbarous, a bristling Of tracks like a starfish carved on his inner arm, A tindering of tissue, a reliquary, twinned. A singe of salt-hay shrouds the orchard-skin, That I would be—lukewarm, mammalian, even then, In winter when moss sheathes every thing alive & everything not or once alive. That I would be—dryadic, gothic, fanatic against The vanishing; I will not speak to you again.