Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Silence of Words


As a girl I was told that it was better to
sit in silence—because I was a girl, so
I sat in silence as a girl.
 
        Not to be denied, I knew my creative power,
made a box of words that in curvaceous moments
pulled muscle cars from the past that drove
me along in perfect seeing silence. Those who made
me mute may as well have written an obituary of rocks.
 
They did not understand that my multi-colored
        leggings gave tread to my wanderings
where I would someday embrace the PTSD, love
the past ripped pains.
 
        In my hush I saw that most men would have
an Ithaca-moment, that metallic lingerie was nothing
but a subversion of surfaces withholding encrypted love,
        that their glass gears, confectioned cogs
prevented them from ever knowing an intimate,
perfect tension,
from seeing that from an off-center equator
Venus went gliding by, transiting the sun, making
of love scented inflammations.
I sat in silence with my box of words, as a
girl in silence, because I was a girl, and knew
centuries’ afterburners
where they only knew small gods whining
in their heads. When they talked they said
nothing—
        could not gain immortality from the
underworld, but I learned, in my silence,
of a fire-crowned seduction
sighed out by breath of the dead-young.
 
I mounted syncretism’s secrets, learned of
snakes that fondle prayer beads,
        spied a lake of ice on the moon where
dead skaters glide, plucked out the mystery,
for this is where Van Gogh painted,
        where Stravinsky composes modern melodies
still, the place where the Alps are eating the oceans
and Josephine Baker taught Eve’s black moves.
 
        These things smiled at me from my box of
words, where I sat in perfect silence, as a girl,
moving toward that day when I would be a woman.
 
 
--Ralph Monday

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