by Sweigh Emily Spilkin

you forgot that it was possible
too bogged down in the myth of industriousness
to value broken
how certain artists make ordinary beauty from their shame
the way words collect haphazard beneath the bed
the way dust makes sure we know a moment is upon us
how you said half hazard instead of hap and meant it
instead of shame try embarrassment
the way the days mumble to one another and pile up
you are not good with time and space but have got the other stuff down
we only know it’s october because healing happens in novemeber
and healing hasn’t happened yet
all essence and no form
and on and on

like the memory of cement in lima because by that time
you were sick of running away from yourself
but scared to go back and face the consequences
but now you are just sick

how come in art all the dirt’s beautiful instead of lazy
and frozen in water is an appropriate phase
but in the central nervous system is nothing but trouble?

the way she lay on her side and let the day be jagged all around her
in the holy name parking lot
the way the dead poet said to allow everything—
truckssemi-colonsnewscastsbirds’ wings
the idea of specialnesshazelnutsfearhydrogen,
desirepesticidescloudssexapostrophes— to flow through

how it’s important to take a day of rest
or in your case two years
calling this the time when non-doing was more important than doing
hopes there will be a time when you will do again
but with less you in the sentence more god
the true nature of a fast according to the good reverend
is not not to eat but not to strive
so that when the time comes to do again
it will be the shards and the lost words
and the dust and the frozen water and the thawing water
and all things shiny which will do the doing
instead of you

© Sweigh Emily Spilkin 2006

Sweigh Emily SpilkinSweigh Emily Spilkin, MFA is a poet, healer, and guide. Sweigh lives in a sleepy corner of Boulder, CO where she wanders through the foothills, teaches poetry, practices chi kung energy healing, and on a good day, writes. Sweigh loves and is terrified of the Mystery. Over the last three years, a journey with chronic illness has taught her lessons she never wanted to learn, and she is grateful. Sweigh received her MFA in poetry from Naropa University in 2000.

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