susan smith nash
I weave and reweave my dreams.
They are sheer and fragile,
the silk pulls and catches on my hands,
they shred before my eyes.
My obsession for you works rough magic
on the cloth I once draped
like sweet, soft armor.
I tear myself open. I invite you inside.
I sleep the long and terrible sleep
of endless night, of endless waiting.
I clutch and pull at that delicate fabric of dreams,
I lose my grace and sweetness.
I am afraid.
Against the muffled hush of silk,
I hear a child crying, a grandmother speaking,
a host of voices from the past -- voices
to paralyze and to comfort me within my soft cocoon.
I weave. I reweave.
I pull the threads, the cloth still holds,
the dreams rise up.
I tear myself open again,
my heart snagged &
translucent but still vibrant with dyes vegetable bright
and the occasional gold shot through;
such is the allure of hopeless causes.
This is a birth motif, I see,
yet sometimes, I do not want to be born.
Birth is, for the butterfly,
that final step toward death.
But is the death the poets claim to crave
nothing but a respite from cowardice?
What is it that coats these walls?
What must I rip through
when I tear myself open for you?
My fingers tremble for you. I set myself to work.
Spinning? Weaving? Constructing?
Deconstructing? I lose myself
in the vast and tired array of metaphors.
If it weren't for my mind's flights far and wide
like Monarchs beating up from Mexico,
I would stay here, agoraphobic and sad,
an Emily Dickinson -- weirder &
weirder -- my metamorphosis sealed
for someone else to enjoy.
My mother always said,
weave your dreams in cotton,
a reminder that all comes from the earth.
But I am not drawn to cotton.
Silk is thinner, more rare,
You are the silk;
you are the dream;
and although you do not know it,
what I weave and reweave
are strands of the same brilliant cloth
you sent to me from so very far away.
I weave. I reweave.
The silk becomes more fragile upon each reweaving
the colors are sheer like water upon your cheeks.
I tear myself open
my hands bathed in silk.
I await your arrival breathlessly
in this long and terrible sleep.
(5 feb 2000)