blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Dream Bardo

A drought in the mouth and the cry of a monkey
Over miles of ocean eats through a woman dreaming
Herself—emergent, awake in a cool cave.

The ground seat there is time taken up by the scruff
And shaken down into one indisputable spot.

What she is certain of is her will to keep
Her eyes open—no blame harbored for her birth,
Or the strawberry mark straddling
Her right breast, not an ounce for the man behind
That porch room with the sun baked shades,
Pull down bed, and dilapidated screens
Dripping with dead fowl and punk weed.
She prefers the memory of a spontaneous rush
Of spring perfume injecting itself into her bloodstream—
Pure gardenia, a true consequence for having done
Something good for someone, she hopes.

Now there’s the anonymous breath,
A hand grabbing inside her chest, not for fruit
But for the flowering. Adam’s buds, a plucking
By a jealous demi-god or asura discovering
An auxiliary garden. Her belief in its dissolve
Is amplified by a subterranean stream
Running through a vertical shaft of light.
Encouraged by this cross
And the white gypsum needles
Strewn like disk blossoms or rosettes on the rocks,
She climbs north like the lust of a man
To touch the peak of a mountain.

She rises for the sanctity of grass and
The unaffected body she left sunbathing
In the secluded center of her hand-tied hammock. 

—bardo: the interval between two states of being or consciousness; a suspended state.
—asura: a being, sometimes reckoned among higher modes, and sometimes among the lower.

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