Sunday, April 22, 2018

How Can It Be I Am No Longer I by Lucie Brock-Broido

How Can It Be I Am No Longer I

Winter was the ravaging in the scarified
Ghost garden, a freak of letters crossing down a rare 

Path bleak with poplars. Only the yew were a crewel
Of kith at the fieldstone wall, annulled 

As a dulcimer cinched in a green velvet sack.
To be damaged is to endanger—taut as the stark 

Throats of castrati in their choir, lymphless & fawning
& pale. The miraculous conjoining 

Where the beamless air harms our self & lung,
Our three-chambered heart & sternum, 

Where two made a monstrous
Braid of other, ravishing. 

To damage is an animal hunch
& urge, thou fallen—the marvelous much 

Is the piece of Pleiades the underworld calls
The nightsky from their mud & rime. Perennials 

Ghost the ground & underground the coffled
Veins, an aneurism of the ice & spectacle. 

I would not speak again. How flinching
The world will seem—in the lynch 

Of light as I sail home in a winter steeled
For the deaths of the few loved left living I will 

Always love. I was a flint
To bliss & barbarous, a bristling 

Of tracks like a starfish carved on his inner arm,
A tindering of tissue, a reliquary, twinned. 

A singe of salt-hay shrouds the orchard-skin,
That I would be—lukewarm, mammalian, even then, 

In winter when moss sheathes every thing alive
& everything not or once alive. 

That I would be—dryadic, gothic, fanatic against
The vanishing; I will not speak to you again.


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