There is nothing beautiful here
However I may want it. I can’t
Spin a crystal palace of this thin air,
Weave a darkness plush as molefur with my tongue
However I want. Yet I am not alone
In these alleys of vowels, which comfort me
As the single living nun of a convent
Is comforted by the walls of that catacomb
She walks at night, lit by her own moving candle.
I am not afraid of mirrors or the future
—Or even you, lovers, wandering cow-fat
And rutting in the gardens of this earthly verge
Where I too trod, a sunspot, parasol-shaded,
Kin to the trees, the bees, the color green.


Copyright © 2013 by Monica Ferrell. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on May 27, 2013.

About this Poem

"Once, during the blistering, red-edged heat of early July in New York City, I took a long walk home from a bad date of drinking rosé, passing, in a foul mood, through the various neighborhoods of Brooklyn where everything and everyone seemed to be happy but the heat-stifled trees and me and the anxious bees hovering around spent flowers. In the morning I got up to write, and, while I was trying to make a different poem, this came out. Initially titled ‘Wozu Dichterin,’ a riff feminizing the title of Heidegger’s essay ‘Wozu Dichter?’ (‘Why-For Poets?’ or ‘What Are Poets For?’), it proposes to tell the vocation of a (female) poet, and is as close as I’ve come to writing an ars poetica."
—Monica Ferrell