Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2015  v14n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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n. the study of bells

My sister was married under the sound—
a church by the sea, white gown barnacled
to her body. She dragged the train behind her
as a mother pulls a petulant child
away from the water.


I climbed
the clock tower

I held you

beneath it

your body
became a bell

I wanted
to ring


At the end of a sitting meditation,
the teacher tells us to track the chimes
until they collapse—each dong
a wave swooning into silence.


the sort of stillness you love a calculus exam

proofs rustling awake
under flakes of eraser

dark curve we huddle under


Curls of prosciutto,
green olives, bread.
After dinner, we fall
asleep holding each other
before the doorbell
startles us apart.


For years I misheard
the lyrics from the soundtrack
of Le scaphandre et le papillon

I fell into the ocean when you became my wife
I fell into the ocean and you became my wave


You are oceans away. I make the bed,
run, meditate, eat my spinach.
Good tone means that a bell must be in tune with itself.
Without you here, it is hard even to listen.


no music without anatomy
ear lip waist tongue
when I touch myself
the feeling rings
memory lapping
endlessly  end  

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