Issue 111, Summer 1989
Other vessels hold wine, other vessels hold oil
inside the hollowed-out vault circumscribed by their clay.
I, as a smaller measure, and as the slimmest of all,
humbly hollow myself so that just a few tears can fill me.
Wine becomes richer, oil becomes clear, in its vessel.
What happens with tears?—They made me blind in my glass,
made me heavy and made my curve iridescent,
made me brittle, and left me empty at last.
The Lion Cage
She paces back and forth like the sentinels out at the edge of the fortifications, where there is nothing left. And as in the sentinels, there is homesickness in her, heavy homesickness in fragments.
As somewhere down in the ocean there must be mirrors, mirrors from the cabins of sunken ships, fragments of mirrors, which of course no longer contain anything: not the faces of the travelers, not one of their gestures; not the way they turned and looked so strangely awkward from the back; not the wall, not the corner where they slept; still less what swayingly shone in from there and outside; nothing, no. But as nevertheless a piece of seaweed perhaps, an open, sinking polyp, the sudden face of a fish, or even just the water itself, floating, parted, coming together again, evokes resemblances in those mirrors, distant, oblique, false, soon-abandoned resemblances with what once existed —: thus memories, fragments of memories, lie, broken-edged, in the dark at the bottom of her blood.