Daynight, With Mountains Tied Inside

By Alice Fulton b. 1952 Alice Fulton
Chandelier too full of brilliance to be indolent.
            Your prisms enunciate the light
and don’t need rain to break it into rainbows.
Snow with six crutches in each crystal.
            Your livery your glitter, your purring
made visible. Only inanimate things can sparkle
without sweat. My spinet, the threat of music
            in its depths and miniature busts of men composers
carved of time on top. The hollow bench

held sheet music. Sing me
            Charm Gets In Your Eyes. I hear you best
when undistracted by your body. In headspace
technology, where flowers are living
            in glass globes, their fragrance vivisected.
Anything that blooms that long
will seem inanimate. Heaven. Grief
            like the sea. Keeps going. Over the same wrought
ground. The whole spent moan. Praise dies

in my throat or in the spooky rift
            between itself and its intended. Like a wish-
bone breaking. The little crutch inside
is not a toy. There is no night asylum.
            A restless bed, a haunt preserve,
a blanket rough as sailcloth. But sing me, was it kind
snow sometimes? With true divided lights and nothing
            flawed about it? If song goes wrong,
be dancerly. Dance me, at what point

does west turn to east as it spins?
            I’ve never understood. Perspective.
How charm gets to yes. Dance me Exile
and the Queendom, by request.
            It is a ferocious thing
to have your body as your instrument.
Glove over glove, let your dance express
            what I’ve been creeping like a vein of sweat
through a vastness of.

This tune with mountains tied inside
            and many silent letters
can be read as trackers scan the spaces
between toes and birders read the rustle
            left by birds. As any mammal
in its private purr hole knows,
the little crutch inside
            is not a crutch. More a sort of
steeple. Neither silver to be chased

nor gold to be beaten.
            You were==you are
more than ever like that too.
Noon upon noon,
            you customize this solitude
with spires
that want nothing from me
            and rise with no objective
as everything does when happy.

Source: Poetry (May 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2012
 Alice  Fulton


Poet and writer Alice Fulton was born in 1952 and raised in Troy, New York. She earned a BA at Empire State College and an MFA from Cornell University. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Dance Script with Electric Ballerina (1982), which won an Associated Writing Programs Award; Palladium (1986), winner of the National Poetry Series; Powers of Congress (1990; reissued 2001); Sensual Math (1995); Felt: Poems . . .

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SUBJECT Love, Desire

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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