Body of Evidence
ONE OF THE OLD SONGS The guy walked past singing White Bird, in a golden cage, THE STORY THAT COVERS THE STORY A friend sits vigil with her dying mother. THE LION IN THE DUNES Of course he is lost.
On a winer’s day in the rain. One of the old songs,
By the group It’s A Beautiful Day. Whatever songs
The radio assigns me, whatever songs strangers sing
As they pass me, those are my songs for the day.
This is my creed, my gospel, my way of trying to stay
In the world I was born into. I sang the song
Doing the dishes that night, and it felt right singing
White Bird, in a golden cage, on a winter’s day,
In the rain. It was winter. I was white, as I always
Would be. I understood myself to be in a golden cage,
Large enough to live a whole life in. I understood
It’s a beautiful day, and I lived the song in my body
And mind for that whole beautiful day.
They have not hidden their lives from each other
So there is not much to say. Sometimes light
Comes in the window, sometimes they rest
In darkness. Both wonder if now is the time
To tell the secret stories. They hope, as all storytellers
Do. that the long-protected stories will keep each other
Alive, but he secret stories, lively and entombed,
Keep breathing inside my friend, her mother,
And they matter too much to tell. Each woman
Feels the peace that comes from protecting
The secret stories; they both know that death
Is coming, and there’s not much to say.
Not a tree, not a pride,
Not a river, not even
An oasis for a kind
of comfort. He was
Brave, or angry, or
Full of longing for
Solitude. He was old
Or alone, or weary
Of the rules he lived by.
He was filthy with sand,
Grit in his eyes,
And the desert wind
Lifted and shook
His golden mane.
He was not aware
Of being a symbol
No hermetic truths
Swirled around him,
And though he was
Part of the book
Of the world,
He never knew.
The carved and glowing
Wall of the dune
And his paw prints
Made no path to follow
As he leaned into
The wind, always
His one true love.
ONE OF THE OLD SONGS
The guy walked past singing White Bird, in a golden cage,
THE STORY THAT COVERS THE STORY
A friend sits vigil with her dying mother.
THE LION IN THE DUNES
Of course he is lost.