Monday, September 5, 2011

My own private arrowhead

I think of arrowheads of obsidian found in the earth polished and rough-hewn able to kill or simply to rub between thumb and forefinger as a reminder of how not to hurt oneself
I think of gods with wings rustling on the windowsill
In the still of night
Never look at them in bright light
Never speak too much when they are here
Be silent, reverential
they can crush your heart in their fist
or not

I think of longing limitless that frightened away too many men
Or caused me to send them off with the thorns of roses tracing blood from their skin
And cracked music and unused condoms

I wear a rubber band around my wrist by daylight
To snap myself out of mistrust

Psyche’s sisters told her he was a monster
And then she burned him with her fear
I refuse this
And it’s not why I light the sage in your presence

I have done Aphrodite’s many tasks
Again and again
Until half blinded and motherless I believe I am without fortitude
This is not the case
My house is still here
my kitchen full of empty jars for sorting beans and grains
Under the sink are paper cups to rescue spiders
I am vigilant for burns and bites and cuts and scrapes and breaks and fires and stings (though I can’t see the wasp’s venom)
Always listening for my children in the night

When they are not here sometimes you come
Sharp as an ancient weapon
Fine and dangerous as Eros, listen
My light’s to illumine not to burn
I’m done with that I’m done


  1. You are unbelievable. I loved your books as a child, and it's fantastic that you're posting your poetry here so that I can continue admiring your lovely use of the English language =]

    The last line was glorious. Thank you for sharing!

    (Also also I can't wait for the new book...)

  2. knocked the wind right out of me!

  3. I love your words!


  4. I used to wear a rubber band around my wrist for much the same reason. <3 And I always listen for my child in the night, even when he's away for the weekend.
    This is an amazing poem. It resonates, always.