01 July 2008

July Poem of the Month

There are only five days left in which to purchase Sørina's poetry chapbook, The Significance of Swans, with free shipping. Please go to Finishing Line Press and order a copy today! My pressrun is determined by how many I sell now....

As was last month's, this poem is in a different style from my usual theological lyrics and explorations of mythology. This painful poem is dedicated to a dear student of mine (and has several others in mind). She (and they) have been enslaved to very destructive, addictive behaviours in the past, but have begun to find freedom and gradual redemption.

Again, the photography is by Darlin/Gemalee.

The Curse of Co-Inherence

Look at my hand. It is also yours: your hand,
your arm, your skin and unscarred bones. Don’t you know
how many molecules are both yours and mine?
Whatever tears you weep fall from six billion eyes:
no wonder every street is a saline vein;
no wonder when the frost comes faces freeze.

It’s more a wonder anyone escapes the freezing
force of so much sorrow, that there are hands
free from bruises, when every body knows
the blows that fall on every other flesh. My
fingers shrink in terror from transferred pain; my eyes
sting and blink away from the blue veins

showing through your cold skin, the veined
scars in wandering lines. I am frozen
in your fear, or else I would warm your little hands
at whatever flame saves mine. Do you even know
what you are cutting, crying for? Here, here, take mine!
Take it—whatever it is—turn away those empty eyes

and fill them up with anything I have. My eyelids
rivet to your agony. I blink in vain,
because you are inside myself. The chill that freezes
you has blued and blanched my hands:
I give and try to give, hoping nothing
hollow echoes your insides, mars and marks your mind.

Do you see this skin, this arm? It is mine,
unmarred, unscarred. Cut it as you do yours. I
will not flinch, unless you do: it’s only vanity
that makes you think you are alone. You are not free
for arrogance, do not have leave to think your hand
is only yours. Your wounding enters me, you know.

There are lines, lines of some unknown
intensity chalked up between each horror and mine,
each ecstasy and yours and every body’s. There is no more “I”
for isolation; there is one human heart whose veins
in systolic cycle feeds the needy on another’s hope and frees
the freezing with another’s vital intensity. From feet to hands

to head and back to hands, no
part is only mine; from toes to eyes
every vein runs in us both. Put on a sweater, lest I freeze.

~ Sørina Higgins

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