Poetry

On Ēriks Ešenvalds’s “Stars”

 

Break me gently

Be spilled your light this

song has been the companion

Of my soul for before I was born

Hushing followed like a quiet

A cracking home and the walls

Fall down to you bowed

Sentries silk and armor

Labor

Labor of my soul, lover

Of myself, go gently

Into glory, you spoke

Me into life.

One secret gentle in abundance

Explored me tender ‘til

I find myself a small surrender

A last memory framed

in grass and light where

Walks an angel savior of my silent

Soul, humble and old

Ancient friend, ahead of me

before.

A small crack

Into eternity render me

Oh most love, sweet ripe and life

And the pain of over beauty

And the bigness of heavens

The sounds in this sky and all skies

Jewels in and out of myself

 

Encrusting the very birth of

Every new possible

Every growth in light

The birth of lights and

Awe in everlasting

Everlasting

Everlasting

Last.

The majesty

Is

Always

Stars.

 

 

 

You struck the rock, prophet

with a shovel until 

yellow cryptograms strewn out

rose in the breeze relieved the

rustling of bible leaves on your neck.

Broke your voice for us like

a pomegranate offered me a seed

with pain in your face I liked

to stare at and searching

my head frantic, your eyes were a little boy

 

some treasure always spread encrusted

under the first layer of earth

handed us linens and grandmother quilts

to cover over ground. You ached 

for a death 

we’d need to stir the dirt

a stir perhaps pull out a waif

in your old clothes. people-

clients told me despite it all

I looked like the soul

of my father. A sacred pause

in me each instance. That night

I stirred through my head words 

to find a gentle lure for your ghost

without you even knowing. 

The legion of the lived

I sensed a chorus underground
Lurched the shoes and smoke, 
would break cathedrals in half
when it sounded up from the rock.
 
In a dirty limestone city of Christ 
The underworldly plains rolled out
bruising skies, and birds the size
of men, who rattled in their clothes
 
The gems between their fingers
glittered like red stars from roofs 
and opening the thick black dirt
grew and grew a quiet coliseum the 
voices marching up 

You had a secret name fermenting

Under my tongue. I smiled and

It went yellow in my mouth.

 

A budding unseen burial

Ring shinnied silver tones

In my bone where you were

 

This is what you do in

Tiny doses. My medication

Never beamed old history lights

 

Or pinstripe lights your fingertips

Through a womb of dust

Stirred a new pigment.

 

I cupped the back of my hand neatly in your corners

Like a wave.

If your blue eyes had a breeze they would,

The cool wash up through

Force

Stone dank and dark underdown

Archaic stairsteps

My soundproof head capsuled

In the moss

Until you touched it

Neatly unfurling and so quickly

Untangling in an inhale like ink in water—