From Breaking the Sacred
I am stretched
like a flower
drugged by the sun
waiting for those
the black bee legs
she counting each
How I long
to be stirred like
how I ache to have
my roots pulled
by moving earth and
to hold my face
for nell angelo
She hears that sound from
under the dove's wings
tender squeaks released
by its movements and
she hadn't heard it.
That sound is too
too quickly rushes
her quivering heart
which can take no more
of pain today
even the dove's smudged
brown and pinched face
is too beautiful,
reminds her of an
innocence that is not
possible to bear.
The hunger starts low
under the crumbly surface,
a fine grained
splits its skin,
moistdark pressing from
It shifts and turns,
burning from the unseen
a wormpale tendril
pushing out into the
each day lengthening,
reaching for that
sensed surface, that not
yet seen potential.
The hunger in it not a
knowable thing just a
desire to keep going,
to finger its way at
rising from the nugget
of possibility to the
shocking air and strong
hold of sun.
I let go and hand her over-
my secret, one person bargain.
I make them think I am crazy so
they'll leave me alone, ride
off on my motorcycle with only
a small bag of clothes and some
poems. My marriage over,
chances to see my
I spend the first day at a
friend's house chain-
smoking her mother's
cigarettes, anxious and yet
relieved that I don't have to go
back, not able to miss them yet.
I think of the places I can apply
for a job, knowing it will be
blue-printing or running a
xerox machine for less than
I can live on.
My dreams that night are of
domestic proportions- he yelling,
she crying in her teddy-bear pjs
and me standing there, seeing them
as if through a plate-glass window,
my heart breaking in its bone
encasement, my words falling into
space, a huge door of dark oak
slamming on my life again.
"The Anxiety of Fate and Death is most basic, most universal and
inescapable. All attempts to argue it away are futile...everybody is
aware of the complete loss of self which biological extinction
implies." --Paul Tillich from The Courage To Be.
You are a stone held against its teeth--
you are fodder, scooped up, slapped by
a humid tongue, its great, gripping jaws.
Your head is wool-thick.
Slowly you start to remember...you can
barely taste it, a feeling...no...a sense of
being handled like produce-- gripped by
massive hands, no escape from the
mouth closing around the core of you. Fear.
You remember feeling something, like the
edges of your mind curling at the prospect
of spending the rest of your life captive
to it, but what do you really know? Why
be afraid of what isnt seen, touched,
or proven? For that matter, why trust
yourself to god? What can anyone else give
you but their own version of things?
And no matter what, you will live. Stuck.
What do you know but the common dread of
being alive and controlling nothing, with
ideas of oblivion, and meaninglessness
becoming central. Once you form the
thoughts, once you accept its impossible
to know your outcome, the dread never
diminishes. You are aware of the endless,
dark layers of this thing, which like the years
of your life, steadily pick your bones clean.
Poems Copyright ©1999 by Elizabeth Florio
from her book, Breaking the Sacred. 60 pages, perfect bound,
Cover art by Elizabeth Florio. Available from Angelflesh Press in Grand Rapids, MI or from the author here..
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