December 9, 2009

I never said nothin'

Henry Gunderson, 2009

Three by Erin Belieu:

The Sadness of Infidels

That which illuminates is sometimes only sad;
this full moon's rule, titular
at best, and each decision
we come to beneath her, obscured,

vague as the myth inside a constellation.

We're more comfortable with vanishing,
the partial beliefs of a bedside lamp,

and only trust in what we must
keep hidden. We make love our euphemism.

I've observed each part of me eclipse
as your body passes over mine,

your mouth moving then replacing nipple and clit,

desire circling a single point, unanchored,
incapable of resting or sinking in.

We're sad as glaciers are, who cannot feel this,

propelled by the engine of their frozen weight,
natural machines made completely of mirrors,

we put out the light, moving forward and blind.


Remind me of a similar devotion;
how the head, buried
deeply in the brush

and gully of damp flesh,
becomes platonic
in its gratefulness,

a perfect worship.
This is why one body,
fastened to the forest

of another, swells.
This wild dependence

of the host on her guest.

Against Writing about Children

When I think of the many people
who privately despise children,
I can't say I'm completely shocked,

having been one. I was not
exceptional, uncomfortable as that is
to admit, and most children are not

exceptional. The particulars of
cruelty, sizes Large and X-Large,
memory gnawing it like

a fat dog, are ordinary: Mean Miss
Smigelsky from the sixth grade;
the orthodontist who

slapped you for crying out. Children
frighten us, other people's and
our own. They reflect

the virused figures in which failure
began. We feel accosted by their
vulnerable natures. Each child turns

into a problematic ocean, a mirrored
body growing denser and more
difficult to navigate until

sunlight merely bounces
off the surface. They become impossible
to sound. Like us, but even weaker.


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