blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Five-Minute Exposure, Large Format

The moon comes up like an almond
And down like an orange.
It wasn't the moon, but the mountain.

The moonfish has a face that ends
In a healing. Your hands pass
Over the gash and all at once

There is singing. At thirty-five,
I was laid out by an ex-communicated priest.
His hands felt like a firewalk

On a hot afternoon. The priest
Was a drunkard, but what did it matter?
The face of the moonfish

Slashes through the sky. The clouds open,
The light dances, angling in from the playa.
No one knows where the shadows

Come from. It's a mystery, like the hands
Of the priest, like the almonds that slip
From the blood orange of the night.

When his hands touched my forehead
I fell to the floor. I had asked to feel
What my lover felt—she who was

Opened by a surgeon's knife,
By the touch of a rapist when only
A child. Why should I feel what she

Wished to forget? I asked to know empathy.
I fell into a swoon and landed curled
On the floor. When she woke

From anesthesia, I gently stroked her
Forehead. The first words she spoke
Were "No, please don't."  

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