To be at someone’s mercy is dialectical damage.
—Gillian Rose, Love’s Work
to the drunk and belligerent, I a woman was
left. The woman I loved turned her face away and then
followed her nose up the steep cross-street, refusing angrily.
Later, in the flourescent ferry-waiting room, she left again
when I sat beside her. Nonetheless, I had to drive her
home. Before she left again she sat on the side of my bed.
After, there were phone calls across the continent
while I grew sicker and sicker still. Then I refused.
“Desperately” is an adverb accurate enough for two.
That was in spring. Now, fall. Such damage, overall.
I’ve used it, I find, to scale, rescind, un-limn, unleaf myself.
A difficult transformation from limbed, finned, to indeterminate:
something again embryonic, that dependent, skinned and inarticulate,
in form a worm, a Daphne’s broken limb. . . . Where before I could swim
(and always did, fiercely up), now I am at the mercy of the merciful
tide’s doubling dream of Never-arrive when Arrive was ever the stream
I climbed, christened mine and home by something in my blood.
Unable, now, my self to move, past agreeing with the scheme,
in an ocean, I am a stream that was, that never wanted what it was:
Good. So I have willed my unwilling, violently. Blood’s
apology’s blood. My testament: to your No my Yes;
to your Gone, my Left: through a glass oppositely. Busily. So.
Still, the wish for congruency. For some other to come