William Pitt Root


Song Of Ourselves - Poem by William Pitt Root

There is the way the moon enters the heart like a tooth while the eye
Like a gate left often
Stares, at the figures supposed to be women,

And the way bones fill the air, gradually, over a lifetime,
Gasp by gasp as if
To lighten the grief of years as the intricate spine in bent
Like a bow to cast out the spirit

Or the way certain scents—the iodine of the sea
Or the musk of swollen belly
Asleep, warm as a loaf—inhabit the hollow
Skull electric with memories and longing.

For we are the hives of mystery and of flowing
Inward and outward irresistible
As the moon who flew out of the sea
Into the void like a spherical angle, beckoning,

And what we may divine is the light that fills us with light
As a touch
Makes us known to ourselves
Through another—the orbit of silence holding
Through aberrations of joy and despair, the silent moon
Whose brilliance we echo finally with the arching gesture of our bones.


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 15, 2012

Poem Edited: Monday, April 16, 2012


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