Try To Be Done Now With Words

Away with the language of weeping,
the angel of perfection can go hang herself

and burn her lilies of ambition, too.

Try to be done now with the golden bees,
the envy of another’s sainted breathing.

Instead, embrace the outer orchard—

the well-water and scrub rose,
our terrestrial music of shave

and shower, toast and tea.

Away from the temple, forget supplicants.
Slip into this season’s must have boots.

What you want is what you have always wanted—

a blue fountain, Moroccan, with the Arabic
abjad, drink and belief. Double note of window

and world. Look past the long tendrils of line break—

forget dactyls and old apples,
the symbolic yew. No more words!

Tomorrow, you will revel in flavor and folly.

O brave mouth— and touch and scent—
send coherent messages through this body

like flares off a meteor shower.

You can become your own glass sponge—
move through this green world—

silent, astonished, undone.
 
 
 

Susan Rich is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently, Cloud Pharmacy and The Alchemist’s Kitchen, which was a Finalist for the Foreword Book Prize and the Washington State Book Award. She has received awards from The Times Literary Supplement of London, Peace Corps Writers and the Fulbright Foundation. Her individual poems appear in the Antioch Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, and The Southern Review. Susan is co-editor of the anthology, The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Crossing Borders published jointly by the Poetry Foundation and McSweeney’s. Susan lives and writes in Seattle, Washington.