a glittering transparency speared and held to the ground by yellow shards of grass . can I trust what I see an organic leaving among crackling sounds . each cell division /the knitted shape, apparent but little else . from the end where once there was a head now a mouth with eye-holes . my hand instinctively unwinds the rhythmic pattern that holds it in one place– . recharged by the current of smooth muscle strength conducted by all creatures who live whole lives, I stretch to my own full length and pull it free .I was born and raised in Texas. When I was five, my dad went overseas/ After that, I always felt he had the jump on me. I trusted the ground. I could not understand OCEAN. . When we rejoined Daddy, I never again trusted in that original wholeness, that feisty kid shaped like a Shetland pony. I had been a blond; my hair darkened. I had felt invincible. At six, I felt mortally wounded. . As marvelous a body as I found it to be, the ocean held great grief for me, a grief that only surfaced when we pulled up roots again and left the friends I had made. . In Japan, our appetite for sand and salt was insatiable. We absorbed the elements through our pores, into our lungs. It circulated in my blood, and as long as we lived close to the ocean and Daddy took me and my brother beachcombing, I was happy. . I had been Texan. I became a little Japanese. Middlewestern, Californian, cool, hostile, indifferent even. Daddy tried to prepare me for the cities that ran together, what freeways were (I didn’t know) and smog. I couldn’t visualize or understand any better than I could visualize or understand Japan when we sang Beyond the Blue Horizon in that 53 blue chevy. . In fact, I couldn’t understand once I experienced it. I was overwhelmed by the lack of nature isolated from all of the elements of life which had previously sustained me. There was no room (for humanity). There was no humanity. .
Categories: poem by Marilyn Graham