Psyche Cycle by Amy Pence
Amy Pence has a chapbook Skins Dark Night from 2River Press, 2003. Other poems have appeared in New American Writing, StorySouth, and American Letters & Commentary. She teaches college English and lives among many trees in Carrollton, Georgia, with her daughter, Ada, and husband, Chris Aanstoos.
I suffered, and I knew not why.
Trees dreamed so close
at your window. Their suffering
both aching and rooted, wrapped firmly
in the earths knuckles. Your wings, Eros, beat
too close, too close—. The bird in my chest
would not come loose.
And above it all, the lovely:
the lovely saturnalia, the shadowed ambergris.
The lovely is all body in the dark. Though blind,
I knew abundance—then suffering:
the lovely opens me wide, yet finds me wanting;
netted in your glut of trees, trapped
by the beating wings, the wings beating.
The mettle of trembling whir
my dark-hooded dream motion: blinding
opalesces salt on our tongues
until I no longer see you to penetrate,
until you are null: my sisters know who you are,
warnings: stone-arm winged, I leave
their held errors.
Hands at each silky
interior: no light
but the runged nautilus
where the beast
A cock sleeping.
Rich your back
when I am against it,
rubbing walls that arch
your hieroglyphic dreams.
Two fingers up
into my center.
raised flute of my bodys
only Eros. Heat at the globe
of my center: I mistook
you for terror. Clicked
on the light.
as you left—
My bodys open field
saturated with particulars.
My panic, a heliotrope
turning to the gods
Furrows where, cleft,
Uroboros that I cleave
for this sorting: the ants
my sacral nurslings
kiss the earth. Eros:
a dangerous secret
seeding inside me.
Sheep rise with wool exteriors
from mist, ruinous
tire tracks. Like a beggar
I pilfer your things—
to find it: the old bothered
metaphor for who I am:
the fleece of the ram,
the god in me sheared
and golden, collecting
among the dry twigs
of the self.
the past with its
I am flooded inside,
calling you: your absence
burns like blue water.
The modernity of my body
shifts its crystal goblet
breaks in the mouth
of great birds. To meet you
as I am, quenched
by every desire.
Neck upon the swelling Rodin.
No fissure in the dreams
flight under leaves: the pathless
path: soil to loam my skin,
Labial, to roam the dark rooms, down
to the hidden bruise of the underworld:
our very Aphrodite.
No cohesion, but my body
pulled towards that sweet
pang of death. I walk
the streambed: its bottom marbled
with shards, a black sediment
we could not mine together.
If not for your plumage. In my teeth,
the flat coins, in my hands
barley cake. Drowning man,
hideous dog, the knitted orifice
made by the fates. If not for
your eyes to inebriate the sky.
In the seat of the sacrum
Plutos rape: his soft concubine
with her ointment. To have come so close
then to succumb: If not for the promise
of beauty, its sleep. As if the self
would not age, but rise forever
with its crenellated petals.
When I open the cask, the god-sleep
of nothing: In the end, you, Eros,
return—bend pliantly to my mistake.
If not for our embodiment: a hum
and sweet effacing. Between us: nothing/
everything—the mundane and the deepening
particular, our emptiness/fullness
to each other—yet one tier of pleasure.
Our aging into nothing, another.
Copyright © Mudlark 2007