From the complications of loving you
I think there is no end or return.
No answer, no coming out of it.
Which is the only way to love, isn’t it?
-Mary Oliver, “A Pretty Song”

With our mouths tiny and slanted
I tell mine to open with the same air
I forgot I was saving back for repeating
your name, so it goes, and in doing so
the very air reinflates the whole of you
living forever in the moment I’m renewed
and full of you &the shimmering particles
we once shared unpretentious in rhythm
once rising, now falling asunder; bestrewn
from the complications of loving you.

And there is nowhere you are not.
If I seek the difficult church to go easy
you are the whispering stained flower.
If I fall apart on the speckled sand
my soles create your small impression
so I ask the long shadows to burn
the backs of my retinas once over
for good measure; surely for lassitude
the shackle of you must continually churn;
I think there is no end or return.

Therefore I have given precedence
to all my sudden, sullen, dark moods
and I dare myself to hold my breath
as if in a tunnel counting by ones &tens
half-hoping you will fill my lungs–
lungs that transliterate ‘thirsty’ to ‘spit’
like the daisies in their new fields
collecting themselves to wildly spread
superfluous on all things unlit;
no answer, no coming out of it.

Will I be freed by this first white
death?  Soft as a bare shoulder,
as white as the snow-laden sky
in the winter of a late afternoon?
Non-elaborate, but fully clothed
in love, and light, and joy, and a bit
of song as sweet as any sleeping world
where fingers and bodies reminisce over
a patience of patience; a heart we admit
which is the only way to love, isn’t it?

inspired by Bjorn’s form over at dVerse
where they want to know who inspires me


10 thoughts on “Thirsty

  1. The brilliance you love is Mary Oliver. The first quatrain is her direct quote from “A Pretty Song”. Thanks for reading Ramya, glad you liked it. I normally don’t write such long pieces, but followed a form on this one.

    1. Mary Oliver was the first poet I fell in love with. I’ve taken some of her lines, and words and made something of my own from her “Pretty Song”. Thanks for reading this lengthy piece. I personally don’t like reading long poems.

      1. I am daunted by long poems, too, but this pulled me right in. I love what you’ve done with the Oliver lines, and your beautiful rhymes and now I’ll go back and savor it.

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