Napo 25

Today's prompt was to free write after Schuyler's "Hymn to Life." The poem is winding and long and reminds me a lot of Whitman. There's something magical almost about poems like this, and it's a magic I must admit I don't quite grasp. But here's my free write for today.


Free write Hymn to Life

The wind blows in off the gulf this morning. It’s warm, too warm,
 and it makes me feel suspicious of its intentions.
I’ve grown accustomed to winter and here it is, spring, and it’s hot. The summer marches in,
gets the floor muddy with its boots, and plops itself on the sofa
like an unwelcome houseguest that I know isn’t going anywhere.
The cat sleeps in my lap and warms my thighs.
Love is warmth and heat and the quickness of breath.
And sometimes love is letting things happen.
“You let the light inside the body,” the president said,
The UV light, the sunlight, and in a way he’s right,
You have to let the light in the body to show what’s wrong,
For self-reflection, for truth and maybe to kill what plagues it.
But he means it in another way and won’t admit he’s wrong,
His own body a dark crevice that he won’t examine.
I want to shine summer’s light beneath my skin,
Into the darkness of myself but that’s such a scary thought
That sometimes, I’d rather live deep in the closet, cover
My head with a blanket and hide hide hide in the darkness.
Nothing Is ever really hidden, or can remain hidden,
No secret, pleasure, form—nothing of this world.
Nor hate, nor force, nor any invisible or visible thing;
The leaves of grass bloom, the blades of weeds sharpen
In the yard and threaten to take back what is theirs,
Rightfully, the soil and the concrete and the space
The air and the sunshine that never belonged to me
And the carpet grass. Kisses come in hierarchies—
The kind that make you change your mind,
The kind that make you sigh, the kind that make
The world go round in shades of red.
The sun is violet, ultra. Violent, too.
Everywhere is yellow, a gentle color
Of kisskadee breasts and sunflower petals
And cirrhosis. The sky, today a powdery blue,
Likes to lie. The palm trees in my neighbor’s yard
Stand with their arms hung, unsure of what they’re
Supposed to do in times like these. Outside,
The weather is hot. Inside, it is too, in my heart,
In my mouth, in my psyche. Warmth and heat.
They’re similar and different. Day curves into night,
And the sky, imperfect, gives everything it has
To sunset, one last hurrah before the blackness
Covers it. Night comes swiftly. It will be here.
And what will it bring but coolness?
A reprieve? Why is the sky blue?
But it isn’t always blue—sometimes
Its grey like my hair is turning.
And sometimes it turns black
Or red or pink or orange
And even green and yet we lie
To ourselves and wonder why it’s blue.
The world is all good—and then it’s all bad.
We’re here at the precipice, noon,
As it’s about to tumble into a new day.
And the chandeliers are all too expensive,
But the stars outside are free to bask in.
Cracks ruthlessly appear, creeping, kicking
On the brick walls of us. And I want to call in help.
And I want to repair them, and he wants to ignore them
And what a metaphor for everything we are.

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