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Jorie Graham


Orpheus and Eurydice


Up ahead, I know, he felt it stirring in himself already, the glance,
the darting thing in the pile of rocks,

already in him, there, shiny in the rubble, hissing Did you want to remain
completely unharmed?--

the point-of-view darting in him, shiny head in the ash-heap,

hissing Once upon a time, and then Turn now darling give me that look,

that perfect shot, give me that place where I'm erased . . .

The thing, he must have wondered, could it be put to rest, there, in the
glance,
could it lie back down into the dustyness, giving its outline up?

When we turn to them--limbs, fields, expanses of dust called meadow and
avenue--
will they be freed then to slip back in?

Because you see he could not be married to it anymore, this field with
minutes in it
called woman, its presence in him the thing called

future--could not be married to it anymore, expanse tugging his mind out
into it,

tugging the wanting-to-finish out.

What he dreamed of was this road (as he walked on it), this dustyness,
but without their steps on it, their prints, without
song--

What she dreamed, as she watched him turning with the bend in the road
(can you
understand this?)--what she dreamed

was of disappearing into the seen

not of disappearing, lord, into the real--

And yes she could feel it in him already, up ahead, that wanting-to-turn-and-
cast-the-outline-over-her

by his glance,

sealing the edges down,

saying I know you from somewhere darling, don't I,
saying You're the kind of woman who etcetera--

(Now the cypress are swaying) (Now the lake in the distance)
(Now the view-from-above, the aerial attack of do you
remember?)--

now the glance reaching her shoreline wanting only to be recalled,
now the glance reaching her shoreline wanting only to be taken in,

(somewhere the castle above the river)

(somewhere you holding this piece of paper)

(what will you do next?) (--feel it beginning?)

now she's raising her eyes, as if pulled from above,

now she's looking back into it, into the poison the beginning,

giving herself to it, looking back into the eyes,

feeling the dry soft grass beneath her feet for the first time now the mind

looking into that which sets the______________in motion and seeing in there

a doorway open nothing on either side
(a slight wind now around them, three notes from up the hill)

through which morning creeps and the first true notes--

For they were deep in the earth and what is possible swiftly took hold.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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Read poems about / on: woman, future, river, remember, song, wind, time, dream, women

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