May 30, 2010

from Rotary

Say it is a wheel that divides & subtracts
                    and we are not smarter animals

Freshly, betwixt & in-between, The temple
                    struck with brutish force


Say sacred things               Burned things,
things pain-


Pale forearms likened
                    to snow on the mountains

Sweet thing the
                    clean world now absent of a predictable
violence               & The season says

If it doesn’t hurt
                                        then make it


                    Then let the light pour through you
like the only pure thing you know

& Death is the only thing worth believing in

If it is a wheel that can bring you back say
Guide say          Forgiveness say
Honeysuckle by the gate in Summer

                     The twist of the crystal door-
knob to the cool dark basement


Sliced circularly by your wants as though
                    you said Stay but meant Follow or Go

Done gravely here the lights likened to stars
                    or beads of water

Nights you close the door to keep the cold in:

Left with zero as in Divided & without longing
                    such as Due to the medication

or Important guests are paying a visit,
                    so wash your hands




                    As such
refuse advice               regarding loss

                    Name rivers
after lovers               Machines               after daughters

Here lies the whole-
The whole [damn] world,

The system               of forgetting
complex as          the way God intended it

The poisoned world
The [small,] elaborate world

World of moving parts

drawn through small spindles


                                        As such
take no advice regarding mechanical

Regarding assumptions
                    that one will wait for you

Believe in
desire               without restrictions,
The first & last time we drove to the coast

How pollen               spreads across [water]
                    as the fingers spread
or bend back easily

That the finger-nails should be trimmed
                    to appear trustworthy
& stable

To improve the process throw
the telephone against the wall

                                        rip [the]
wires from their proper housings



Maureen McHugh currently lives & writes in Tucson, Arizona. She has previously received an 1885 Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and was the 2009 Prague Summer Seminar Fellowship winner. You can read some of her other work in Third Coast & Web Conjunctions.

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