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by Martina Ruisz Newberry
I had a friend who said this:
"The only thing that you can
count on is loss." I never
quite bought that. I've counted on
The uncontrolled appetite of Guilt
the disarray of Wisdom
the long thirsty threads of Desire
the short streets of Love
the blank stare of Dark
the longing in Summer Solstice.
I've counted on all those things.
I've counted on the urgency of Light,
the music of the Purple Bamboo,
the tug of fingers braiding hair
or the way the smallest pond of water
doubles the beauty or the
ugliness of anything.
You can count on the way
we go at sex like ferrets
put on capes and pray
to fly off buildings insuring
the safety of the entire population,
who will remain eternally grateful.
You can count on all of us to continue
grasping and gnawing on each other,
watching to see who gets the best morsels,
snarling with love and strangled by our prayers.
Ah well! I hear the questions you want to ask
You think this may be a kind of curse on my memory,
delivered by one of the unforgiving deities.
If it is a curse, it's a damned useful one. It forces
my perpendicular mind to run parallel races.
You can count on this: it's either loss or
a culmination of all our fantasies.
Whichever it is, I am tired of contemplating it.
Better, I believe, to study the calendar,
study the clock, study God's Labyrinth,
and afterward, tell my raggedy stories to those
struggling to stand upright in a tilting world.
(from PERHAPS YOU COULD BREATHE FOR ME)