I’m behind a few days after a very hectic week. So here goes. Day Eighteen’s prompt is to use a poem you’ve not previously read and write a response to it, line by line starting from the end, only reading one line at a time – hopefully before you’ve read it from the top.
After the coming, before the going,
into the silence, deliberately
I longed to feel the creep of cold through my toes
I knew the song of the sleeping fish, the rushes
I wove their dreams, goddess of the script
cracked the ice, fell in
buttercream sea, smooth like fondant
sink to the bottom, fold, knees bending in
softly, calves twitching
rest softly, through the winter
all rivers flow out to sea
eddies and pools notwithstanding
a purpose, a plan
I had thought of this.
I chose to do this somewhat impressionistically – using the lines to guide a form of translation perhaps, not as a conversation or literal response.
I remembered what it was like,
knowing what you want to eat and then making it,
forgetting about the ending in the middle,
looking at the ocean for
a long time without restlessness,
or with restlessness not inhabiting the joints,
sitting Indian style on a porch
overlooking that water, smooth like good cake frosting.
And then I experienced it, falling so deeply
into the storyline, I laughed as soon as my character entered
the picture, humming the theme music even when I’d told myself
I wanted to be quiet by some freezing river
and never talk to anyone again.
And I thought, now is the right time to cut up your shirt.