Green as alchemy and even more scarce, little can be known
Of the misfortunes of a saint condemned to turn great sorrows
Into greater egrets, ice-bound and irrevocable. The wings were left ajar
At the altar where I've knelt all night, trembling, leaning, rough
As sugar raw, and sweet. From the outside, peering in, it would seem
My life had been smooth as a Prussian ship gliding on the bridegroom
Of her Baltic waters in a season of no wind. Tinny empire,
Neighborhood of Bokhara silks, were you to go, I would stop—simply
As a pilgrim putting down his cup. Most of my life,
I had consorted with the unspeakable, longing to put my mouth
On it. I was just imagining. I can be
Resumed. Some nights, I paint into the scene two Doves,
I being alternately one and then the other, calling myself by my kind.
In the living will if it says: Hydrate. Please.
Hydration only. Do not resume me then.
Lucie Brock-Broido, "Meditation on the Sources of the Catastrophic Imagination" from Stay, Illusion. Copyright © 2013 by Lucie Brock-Broido. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Published with arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.
Source: Stay, Illusion
(Alfred A. Knopf, 2013)