Claire Barbetti


        The power of my tongue
        I must not question
        "Is it impotent?"

        That is despair

        Spiraled-down space of darkness
                                                    and doubt
        The question itself is indicative of impotence.

        Is there some saint's tongue, a relic tongue
        That still speaks mystery
        From its gilt mount to the wondering pilgrim?

        Let my tongue be that tongue

                                                                    It can be (is) the same

        And the blessing of aged grape ichor is in the veins
        Drunk veins of my body component of fabric   flowing dynamic Fabric of Every

        And we are anointed because we think we are
        (That cold philosopher perched on his stove told me that)
                                        thus must become
                                             Must become

          Listen, and I-- part of you
        Will tell you
                                                  As the sun sets here in the music of mating crickets
                                                                                (listen to their song)
        There is work we must do together
        I was going to say without pain without riot
        But I know that this cloth is painful

    Bound too tight                                                                        and rent
                                in places to the split mind and scientific eye.
        Only a weaver's needle can mend this garment.

        When your bright eye meets mine
                    accepting the terror and goodness of this convergence
        The eye sees into the cloth:

        The linen is whole. We put on the robe.
        We sing:
        These thready tongues unfold
        They speak in response to you    to me
                    to the half-naked child running down the street
                    and the gray-bearded man walking his dog
                                They intimate love.


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