I am Like a Desert Owl, an Owl Among the Ruins
The alpha You. The omega You.
My grandmother’s ghost, its girlish snafu
Basking in the waters of urgency.
But I want the coolness of snow.
I want pairs of hands that speak to me cleanly,
Sutras to resuscitate what reigns
Over warped celluloid and heirlooms I can’t touch.
There are no family photographs.
Once I was ordinary.
I rattled around with arms, with legs,
With a damp remembering that served me well.
Then, a little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest.
I asked myself, don’t you just love it?
And then, why don’t you just love it?
And then, from what grace have I fallen?
Am I Sisyphus with his mute rock
Unsettling the topsoil, dissolved now
Into brandied battle shouts and pages that breathe like people?
There are hazards here, more so than before
The Furies struck and scarved the white night sifting
The bright waterlights blinking
And grieving over a mash of ice.
Like them, I wanted only to die, moon-dark, blessed,
Poised beneath the driest arrows of my suffering,
Far from the flocks of burning, singing gulls,
Face to face with the God of my childhood.
"I am Like a Desert Owl, an Owl Among the Ruins" by Noelle Kocot. From Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems, © 2006 by Noelle Kocot, published by Wave Books.
Noelle Kocot is the author of Soul in Space (Wave Books, 2013). She teaches at The New School and lives in New Jersey.
Date Published: 2006-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/i-am-desert-owl-owl-among-ruins