Our Hunger and Our Thirst
I had questions but you would not answer
I had answers but you could not use them
~ Adrienne Rich, "Cartographies of Silence"
from your enemy's face.
Look for the difference.
Tell me why it matters
that the sea reaches your shore burning
bluer, your oranges tasting
of a sweeter summer's noon.
In the broken dream
we are all awake. Time's the only natural element
Our children, ill-sheltered, sit
recounting how the silenced night resists and resists
their song. They get by
while the simple sound of blood courses
to our temples, exploding
into a homeland of memories
of jealousies and fears, of women who cannot forget
that a man can declaim desire without love
ever renewing itself.
But for our act of drawing
a different marker setting different boundaries
you might be here
on this side more conscious
of our spatial arrangements:
our map the entire sky opening
as do clouds before navigating
birds, their maps invisible and unerring.
See me as more than
this single thing wanting.
in you as in a mirror
the oldest story you can recall,
how when we stood side by side
to embrace the dying fire our hands filled
with what our hearts could not
of desert and rock and dust
of skin below cold water
of bones bending for final prayer
stilling what stilled
our hunger and our thirst our only treasure.
© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas