There is something that passes for love
that is but a leaf, a hot coal.
There is something that passes for duty,
that is but autumn, then winter.
There is something that does not pass, that is
a boulder. Lodged in the belly
it does not grow, fall off the tree, crumble
into ash. It does not turn
to daffodil or summer squash, but weighs in.
When you step on the scale, you know -
you carry this stone. And sometimes, you'll weep.
to first page of poems by Mallie Boman
photos from Bamboo & Bone in performance.
more poems by mallie boman
a great furnace, he stokes his mind
with the coals of vision. Refused
decrepitude, he dreams God's voice
in a place hollowed out with age, sits with eyes
turned towards the desert's heat - as if he might shimmy
from his own body, linger between sand and sun
a radiant mirage that could shed the snake
not as skin, but as soul.
the silence of her morning bed
Sarah reaches out for him
for the taste of fur, a touch of wrinkle
the coolness or heat that would be
you look at the camel, you know he is God.
If you listen to the desert, you can hear it sigh.
But now, before death, her husband wants to know
a singularity, a containment shared, not squandered
amongst beasts and dust -
there was an ocean, perhaps he would die
into the brine, plant God there instead of heaven.
Sarah forgave the past, but what else
would he deliver from this last inch
of life? All follow him and now her baby
the beloved son, a coal in the bosom of a furnace.
Sarah rose. Knowing
with donkeys gone and the smirk of a servant,
Sarah knows. She will make an infusion bitter, more than the bile
on her morning tongue. And in the dawn she brews
the maternal words, Let him live, as she winds
a sighing shawl tightly around her.