Did You See the Sky

Rachel Jamison Webster

Did you see the sky through me
tonight, carbon blues and clouds like ropes
of wool behind a fringe of branches,
great combs of black stilling in their sap,
stiffening with winter. I like to imagine
love can pull your essence like red thread
through the cold needle of my life now
without you. I was just driving home
from the grocery store and looking up
over the roofs, I remembered once when
I was overthrowing my thoughts
for doubts you said, I know how to love you
because I hitchhiked, and it was never the same sky twice
.
Now, I hear you say, this music is like wind
moving through itself to wind, intricate
as the chimes of light splintering into
everything while glowing more whole.
It is nothing like those dusty chords
on your radio, each an ego
of forced air, heavy with the smells
of onions, mushrooms, sage and rain.
Drink it in, you say, those corded clouds
and throaty vocals. You will miss all this
when you become the changing.

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Grief Work

I have gazed the black flower blooming
her animal eye. Gacela oscura. Negra llorona.

Along the clayen banks I follow her-astonished,
gathering grief’s petals she lets fall like horns.

Why not now go toward the things I love?

Like Jacob’s angel, I touched the garnet of her wrist,
and she knew my name. And I knew hers—
it was Auxocromo, it was Cromóforo, it was Eliza.
It hurtled through me like honeyed-rum.

When the eyes and lips are touched with honey
what is seen and said will never be the same.

Eve took the apple in that ache-opened mouth,
on fire and in pieces, from the knife’s sharp edge.

In the photo her fist presses against the red-gold
geometry of her thigh. Black nylon, black garter,
unsolvable mysterium—I have to close my eyes to see.

Achilles chasing Hektor round the walls of Ilium
three times. How long must I circle
the high gate above her knees?

Again the gods put their large hands in me,
move me, break my heart like a clay jar of wine,
loosen a beast from some darklong depth—

my melancholy is hoofed. I, the terrible beautiful
Lampon, a shining devour-horse tethered
at the bronze manger of her collarbones.

I do my grief work with her body—labor
to make the emerald tigers in her hips leap,
lead them burning green
to drink from the violet jetting her.

We go where there is love, to the river,
on our knees beneath the sweet water.
I pull her under four times
until we are rivered. We are rearranged.

I wash the silk and silt of her from my hands—
now who I come to, I come clean to, I come good to.