[b]I Once Knew a Woman[/b]

I once knew a woman as sharp
as a spike, (or is it a tack?)
and as hard as nails,
who thought she could fly
and blazed like a meteor
-no that’s not right-
sparkled like those sparklers
that are so hard to light.
I studied her body,
would read it like a book.
She had moveable parts and
parts that stood still
as the wind in the trees
with places to kiss
and down on her arms.
And this was a time when
women had hair and were sharp
as a tack or that razor blade
you always played with
and always got cut
and the blood would be much
darker than the red you imagine.

I remember liking that woman
like the force of the tide.
We would walk around
in the city at night
or go for a ride and you
could smoke then and it was
great to walk and smoke and make words,
blow rings at the neon lights.
I once knew a woman
a shout in the street,
or a sound that makes you
suddenly turn and check
over your shoulder
for what ever might be there,
but never is,
but you’re left with a little
unnamable fear.
I once knew a woman like that.

[b]The Lord Said[/b]

It was easier before
there were so many of them.
You could keep tabs,
help out a Roman or Greek,
check in with the Chosen.
They’d slice up their sheep,
roll some rocks around
and scream at the sky.
I’d give them green pastures and sleep.

But now it’s totally out of control.
Who can keep up?
I mean there’s what’s left
of the birds of the air
and lilies of the field
to consider.
And if I turn my back
to intervene in Andromeda,
they set out to slaughter
one another
and send me the souls
of their children
as if I had room in my heart
or any tears left.

[b]Remembrance Day (U.K.)[/b]

I don’t remember much.
The way the sunlight played
on red brick walls
with painted white window frames.
The dry mouth and search
for another cigarette,
the studied garden, the goldenrod,
the purple dead men’s fingers,
the whistling howl of winter wind.

It’s not much is it?
Your hair, your eyes,
your scent have sunk
into a miasma of leaf mold
and rotting shapes.
Of war I know nothing,
bodies on TV, Friday night Teach-Ins.
We’d drive high to the protest.

Now is all there is –
floating time told
by the phases of the moon,
blown like smoke exhaled
or like a leaf falls
and is lost in the crowd,
a sea of fallen leaves.

by Michael Crowley (c)2001
([email]miklcrowly [at] hotmail [dot] com[/email])

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