Friday, May 1, 2009

Kimberly Burwick

Three Poems

Letter to Abstraction

I leave with that voice? In Austria the alps are blowing
with bedsheets. The innkeeper sings my child, my child
and maybe this is what breaks me. It is hard to remember
the German word for light. I must lose something more?
Lightning each summer takes a person downriver and crushes
the pelvis. I climb with the Münter-hitch, the hip wrap,
the daisy-chain. Making the crossing. This is not risking.
I must lose the singing. The woman who comes back at night
twisting her voice into song. I listen for the teacup.
A spoon against the pantry wall.

Letter to Abstraction

I cannot do it for you he says over rice
and lamb. I cannot make the wind, the ground
or the speed of flurries into the thin shaft
of metal that makes you dark and sad all morning.
Thinking of trains, thinking you are on those trains.
It’s New Years and still I will not say which army
used the gray wool blanket you fit around your breasts
after each shower, each bath. A heron in the weeds
and still the tone we hold is silk like the black sixth
of the Gregorian chants you play to keep the night, night.

Letter to Abstraction

Untitled until a Bucket of Water
and a Blue U-Turn jeopardize the simple
thing I am trying to see. Last night thunder
chased the January-river farther away, lightening
even that was too easy. Halogen and a branch
near the bend made me think I could walk the shape
it put down on water but fear of god and clothing
kept me waiting on the bridge.

-poems previously published at Conjunctions

Everything Lush I Know

I do not know the names of things,
but I have lived on figs and grapes,
smell of dirt under moon
and moon under threat of rain,
everything lush I know
an orchard becoming all orchards,
flowers here and here
every earth I have left,
every brief home-making,
the lot of God blooming vines
right now, then, and always.

Desire To Collapse

Light breaks this county in fours
as if the hold I have I have not.
Juniper as hell but harder,
mountain not high

but darkened to green,
the surrogate surrender I cannot.
That countryside was more calculus
than lowland, more a tour of continuity

gone wrong, gull or kestrel, the first year females
ordinary as nothing. When the limit lies elsewhere
in the contact-calls of the chicadee
or the kitter in a few acres of wheat,

language makes a foreign sound
muffled by distance, harvest and tree.
I make threshold out of grasses
so the breaking is more a bending,

I touch rabbits midtwitch to know the motion
of the instant as pronghorn know sighting.
Dusty roots and the law of falling bodies
appear suddenly as flesh without path.

-both poems previously published at Waywiser Press

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