What happened to the poet who is my true love?
Where does she sing now in a hell with no circles...?
.... Where does she stand
with her lyre and steady voice, and for whom does she
sing? It cannot be for those left behind. It must
not be for those pressed further on, the fame
of their success so general now I can't tell
one bare body from another, cannot
trust their old promises that if I only do
as they do the exit will be clear....
My true love sings
at a bend in a river,
and all around her summons
a meadow, thistle and timothy,
the straight flight of a sparrow,
the spiral orderings of the spider,
and within all of them a house
founded in concrete,
brick, timbers and glass.
My true love sings, and I see her
now past the house.
There she is singing.
She pulls the lyre closer
all unaware what she made possible.
A meadow is possible.
A house is possible
....until she catches my eye
from across the meadow, from across
flames, and I cannot hear her anymore.
On 38th Street, the four-lane
that passes the fairgrounds, that passes
the for-rent buildings and commerce built
by those who have trained to take charge,
I have turned the steering wheel and looked
for my true love. In air mildly tainted
by hydrocarbons, by the scrub
growing in cracks in concrete medians
where the pedestrians wait and languidly
cross, I have looked, but no one finds
these beings, these loves, these phantoms.
Better make due with broken pavement....
I have stopped looking for my true love.
She is nothing to me now that I'm not afraid,
now that I can rely upon the server substations
nearby in their own frantically-cooled
cybertowns. I would call them necropolises,
but they are anything but dead.
This is the world I have made.
"Do not fear," she says. And I walk
toward her. She does not need to ask me.
And she takes my hands and kisses them
beneath her gray eyes. How steady they are.
Now she smiles and asks me to remember the earth
and the air and the water and the fire.
And I ask her, "How?" and she shakes her head
slowly as if I already know.
And I ask her how,
but she has already answered
and the age of words has already passed,
as if we had all stopped moving
and in doing so the ashen-land
returned to us as a home,
come back as a silence
under the blue sky.