Log in

No account? Create an account
26 March 2010 @ 05:47 pm
Snow and Dirty Rain – Richard Siken  
I believe this may be my new favorite Siken. I've had the pleasure of spending time in it via typing it out and the ending just slays me. Incredibly raw, fresh, and delicate all at once.


    Close your eyes. A lover is standing too close
    to focus on. Leave me blurry and fall toward me
    with your entire body. Lie under the covers, pretending
    to sleep, while I’m in the other room. Imagine
    my legs crossed, my hair combed, the shine of my boots
    in the slatted light. I’m thinking My plant, his chair,
    the ashtray that we bought together.
    I’m thinking This is where
    we live
    . When we were little we made houses out of
    cardboard boxes. We can do anything. It’s not because
    our hearts are large, they’re not, it’s what we
    struggle with. The attempt to say Come over. Bring
    your friends. It’s a potluck, I’m making pork chops, I’m making
    those long noodles you love so much
    . My dragonfly,
    my black-eyed fire, the knives in the kitchen are singing
    for blood, but we are the crossroads, my little outlaw,
    and this is the map of my heart, the landscape
    after cruelty which is, of course, a garden, which is
    a tenderness, which is a room, a lover saying Hold me
    tight, it’s getting cold
    . We have not touched the stars,
    nor are we forgiven, which brings us back
    to the hero’s shoulders and the gentleness that comes,
    not from the absence of violence, but despite
    the abundance of it. The lawn drowned, the sky on fire,
    the gold light falling backward through the glass
    of every room. I’ll give you my heart to make a place
    for it to happen, evidence of a love that transcends hunger.
    Is that too much to expect? That I would name the stars
    for you? That I would take you there? The splash
    of my tongue melting you like a sugar cube? We’ve read
    the back of the book, we know what’s going to happen.
    The fields burned, the land destroyed, the lovers left
    broken in the brown dirt. And then it’s gone.
    Makes you sad. All your friends are gone. Goodbye
    Goodbye. No more tears. I would like to meet you all
    in Heaven. But there’s a litany of dreams that happens
    somewhere in the middle. Moonlight spilling
    on the bathroom floor. A page of the book where we
    transcend the story of our lives, past the taco stands
    and record stores. Moonlight making crosses
    on your body, and me putting my mouth on every one.
    We have been very brave, we have wanted to know
    the worst, wanted the curtain to be lifted from our eyes.
    This dream going on with all of us in it. Penciling in
    the bighearted slob. Penciling in his outstretched arms.
    Our father who art in Heaven. Our father who art buried
    in the yard.
    Someone is digging your grave right now.
    Someone is drawing a bath to wash you clean, he said,
    so think of the wind, so happy, so warm. It’s a fairy tale,
    the story underneath the story, sliding down the polished
    halls, lightning here and gone. We make these
    ridiculous idols so we can to what’s behind them,
    but what happens after we get up the ladder?
    Do we simply stare at what’s horrible and forgive it?
    Here is the river, and here is the box, and here are
    the monsters we put in the box to test our strength
    against. Here is the cake, and here is the fork, and here’s
    the desire to put it inside us, and then the question
    behind every question: What happens next?
    The way you slam your body into mine reminds me
    I’m alive, but monsters are always hungry, darling,
    and they’re only a few steps behind you, finding
    the flaw, the poor weld, the place where we weren’t
    stitched up quite right, the place they could almost
    slip right into through if the skin wasn’t trying to
    keep them out, to keep them here, on the other side
    of the theater where the curtain keeps rising.
    I crawled out the window and ran into the woods.
    I had to make up all the words myself. The way
    they taste, the way they sound in the air. I passed
    through the narrow gate, stumbled in, stumbled
    around for a while, and stumbled back out. I made
    this place for you. A place for to love me.
    If this isn’t a kingdom then I don’t know what is.
    So how would you catalog it? Dawn in the fields?
    Snow and dirty rain? Light brought in in buckets?
    I was trying to describe the kingdom, but the letters
    kept smudging as I wrote them: the hunter’s heart,
    the hunter’s mouth, the trees and the trees and the
    space between the trees, swimming in gold. The words
    frozen. The creatures frozen. The plum sauce
    leaking out of the bag. Explaining will get us nowhere.
    I was away, I don’t know where, lying on the floor,
    pretending I was dead. I wanted to hurt you
    but the victory is that I could not stomach it. We have
    swallowed him up
    , they said. It’s beautiful. It really is.
    I had a dream about you. We were in the gold room
    where everyone finally gets what they want.
    You said Tell me about your books, your visions made
    of flesh and light
    and I said This is the Moon. This is
    the Sun. Let me name the stars for you. Let me take you
    there. The splash of my tongue melting you like a sugar
    We were in the gold room where everyone
    finally gets what they want, so I said What do you
    want, sweetheart
    ? and you said Kiss me. Here I am
    leaving you clues. I am singing now while Rome
    burns. We are all just trying to be holy. My applejack,
    my silent night, just mash your lips against me.
    We are all going forward. None of us are going back.

    Richard Siken