December 21, 2012


from Small Icelandic Novels
for angela rawlings


when we are at sea we are suspended
just feet below the air we watch through the wet rim
of the ocean through the green-shouldered waves
we let ourselves be turned we watch the
ways in which the light writes
upon our selves and sisters

a pod of women spines
liquidic with sleep it is our season
of crossing it is always our season
days are passing before the first of us surfaces
we swim to surface us dreaming-women
in nightgowns buoy bellies to the sky
a slow arching into under again

the first night is all nights and we are buoyant
within the bay we are swimming and
we are not swimming within the bay we are writing a pod
of oceanic women sleeping as we swim
we write we are writing

we are writing as we pass our eyes
always closed our lids twitch
with writing our faces relaxed in sleep
our mouths open tongues searching
like the soft foot of a clam

and we turn to deepen whorling
over our nightgowned backs creak where the
pages and covers of books are shingled
along growling like a fibrous exoskeleton
these books bi-valved creatures
 an elongated cone wound on its axis
withdraw all its soft parts into the mouth
 sound-calcites thinly plated upon the teeth leaf-like
crystals shingling the finger bones opalescent
light refracted the memory-tissue of the word
kelp trailed and growing

our density increases until we
are lifting out the sea our density
increases until we are washed up
shore pulling our sleeping forms across
the earth by our hands bellies to
dirt legs drug behind

our density increases until we are
invisible in the darkest parts
of the ocean we are metamorphic icicled
sedimentary blooms
we glacial the tongue
until it is always moving our surface slopes
the air weightless but woolen
our density builds through a stratum
of re-smothering we are subcellular
a slip in perspectives a deformation
of gravity we freeze over and
separate debris as we thaw

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