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Monday, February 2, 2015

Beams by Audre Lorde

**This blog is retired! However, this poem is unpublished online and deserves to be, so here it is.**

Audre Lorde

In the afternoon sun
that smelled of contradiction
quick birds announcing spring's intention
and autumn about to begin
I started to tell you
what Eudora never told me
how quickly it goes
the other fork       out of mind's eye
becoming a stone wall
across possible
outlined on the shapes of winter
the sunset colors of Southampton Beach
red-snapper runs at Salina Cruz
and we slept in the fishermen's nets
a pendulum swing
between the rippling fingers
of a belly dancer with brass rings
and a two-year-old's sleep smell
the inexorable dwindling
no body's choice
and for a few short summers
I too was delightful.

Whenever spring comes I wish to burn
to ride the flood like a zebra goaded
shaken with sun
to braid the hair of a girl long dead
or is it my daughter grown
and desire for what is gone
sealed into hunger       like an abandoned mine
nights when fear came down like a jones
and I lay     rigid with denials
the clarity of frost without the pain of coldness
autumn's sharp precisions and yet
for the green to stay.

Dark women clad in flat and functional leather
finger their breastsummers    whispering
sisterly advice   one dreams of fish
lays her lips like spring across my chest
where I am scarred and naked
as a strip-mined hill in West Virginia
and hanging on my office wall
a snapshot of the last Dahomean Amazons
taken the year I was born
three old Black women in draped cloths
holding hands.

A knout of revelation      of a corm of song
and love       a net of possible
sourrounding all acts of life
one woman harvesting       all I have ever been
lights up my sky like stars
or flecks of paint       storm-flung
the blast and seep of gone
only the peace we make with it
shifts into seasons
leangthening past equinox
sun      wind  comes round again
seizing us into her arms like a warrior lover
or blowing us into shapes we have avoided for years
as we turn
we forget what is not possible 


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