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,

more real.


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)