today of all days
by Fran Lock
even now there are names we will not stoop to say.
between the famine and the feast. the prostrate part
of silence. what the dog digs up, what the well draws
forth: cromm crúaich. cromwell. conquest. all limbs
and skins through the heat of siege. even now, to turn
our sleep toward the west and a dream of being near.
or free. beloved, there's a rent in the roof of want
where the world gets in. beloved, your dirty nail
is a dark scythe, shelling an egg; your broad arm
is an argonaut's oar, your mouth a disconsolate cellar
of gold. it is grey outside, a thunderhead behind
the new-build houses. my mind, a solemn plough,
succumbs to turning earth. to sift our dead. obols,
idols. alms and bones. a celtic stater, struck or cast.
even now, there are bent heads and empty hands.
brine and fire. your neck, the rhythm in the rope.
a white gull, a cipher for thirst. our fear of the sea
and everything in it. our dread of the plain, a plain
dread. diplomacies and protocols. control, above
all, beloved. to carve our dull adjustments into
stone. the grievous speech of cutting blades. even
now, a name i cannot say. your name. this day of all
days. leaking through this lockjaw. like water. no.
Fran Lock Ph.D. is a writer, activist, and the author of seven poetry collections and numerous chapbooks. She is an Associate Editor of Culture Matters.