I can’t talk about my hands,
And, what they’ve held aloft;
And, where they’ve reached,
Through molten rock and gauze,
Opened in fleet motion as light raced through Andromeda—
Clutched at the fruit of heaven’s stars.
With secret withering of wings, of phlox, of quickest silver spun,
Mercury has wound and bound me; I can’t talk about my feet,
How rarely they alight, touch down,
How far they’ve taken me—
Sped to contemplation’s cliff, raced to the red river,
Traced the paths to paradise’s broad meanderings,
Defied the speeding 7, in curved flight,
Slicing the crystal-beaded, black lattice of the sky:
“Wayfarer,” Antonio Machado wrote, “the only way is
your footsteps, there is no other.”
I can’t talk about my death,
It’s stopped trains.
And, all around me, I see dogs’ teeth in babies’ eyes.
I can’t talk about my eyes,
Rolled up inside my head,
Wild with truth;
These are the visions which attend them:
Sanctum of how seen?
I can’t talk about my life,
I’ve lost it, falling from careless pockets near the temple at the waterfall,
Rising from the larcenous caress of the gray and neon pawnshop,
Losing only the self,
As the pavement opens, smiles,
A new day between dual boulevards of darkness.
I can’t talk about my soul,
Anointed, once, twice;
Crying out, in the aqua marina.
Who can ferry the river across my fate?
Wide strokes against the bindings of the flesh;
Emptying, rushing into night.
•••Lola Rodriguez is an award-winning NYC writer whose essays, poetry, and prose have appeared in over 50 books, magazines, reviews and journals, including The Coffeehouse Poetry Anthology, The Caribbean Writer, New to North America, and The Evergreen Review. An accomplished spoken-word performer and composer of musical theatre, her work has been showcased at The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Literary Life with George Plimpton,The National Arts Club, London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, The Smithsonian Institution, and other venues. The poet has most recently adopted Eleanor, an abandoned Asian Leopard hybrid.