First of all,
what choice did I have but to give freely
what wasn’t mine—
a gift like all the rest:
sough of wildflowers in wind, the growing
moon, the fecund tomb of night.
Though none of this is mine,
I thought my body sacred, a compact
holy perfect as God.
Now less than I was,
I want something more:
a language to share,
trees full of knowledge,
the wholeness of love.
What do I know?
What can be given can be taken back.
For a greater good.
The fingers of palms spread fan-like towards heaven.
I want to grow like them.
There will be more than this ache in my side.
I build a house of my desire.
I welcome what remains
to be given.
Husks of insects scattered in the grass,
a memory fights to be freed like this:
the long road to your sister’s farm—it was August then too—
that morning you consoled her,
weaving her loss into your own thick skein of trepidation.
It is difficult to swallow.
Dust devils swirl on the dry lawns.
The locusts drone.
This is no place for words to take root.
What you want to say lies inside—as infertile as her womb.
What is our biggest enemy you wonder.
Even in dreams her face turns towards you—a flower to light.
How many times do we choose the right word, the right gesture?
This will do for now, you decide.
But this is what you want for her:
a swarm of children heated from play
who find her always there, transformed into light itself.
They grow around her.
Bio: Marc J. Frazier has been widely published in journals including The Spoon River Poetry Review, ACM, Slant, Plainsongs, Poet Lore, Rhino, Eclipse, The Broome Review, and Permafrost. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry, has had several residencies at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, and has done numerous readings in the Chicago area. His book The Way Here will be available later this summer 2012. Marc’s website address is www.marcfrazier.org.