Show me the body that brides its quest,
that sleeps its seemings, tremblant inconnue,
jeweled Ophelia of diaphanous hue
in all her slippings, weed-wedded, water-dressed,
the sluice and swooning of her semblant rest—
the river ruptures, the weeds branch blue—
day’s jaune eyes (wide lucencies) bleed new
hollow spaces where the breathings nest,
irised mnemosyne, rumored as a rune.
Oh roared red pulse, errata, when you die
maiden-postured, murmur in the wrist,
tendrilled syllables the waters twist,
or innered element (it is an I)
the dead girl blurring in the blooded noon.
Karen Volkman, “[Show me the body that brides its quest]” from Emblem. Copyright © 2008 by Karen Volkman. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. www.boaeditions.org
(BOA Editions, Ltd., 2008)