[from Jaki Shelton Green's Breath of the Song, 2005]
candles drip air
washed away smiles linger to breathe;
a skeletal interpretation of motherhood
suspends itself above penurized nativity.
go into yourself and free those
midsummer visits free those grasshopper tragedies;
free those public telephones with passionate coffin smells
drip into your burial urn. drip.
this is called neurotic fiction. i am going out of myself into a
woman without skin, into a face without a mouth, into
a woman without a man i am woeman. woeman. this is
neurotic fission. drip, drip into my confusions. i am
vaguely alive, am dying alive native depression and
intellectual inclinations balance this head. keep it adrift.
i have no sweet songs of georgia pine to sing. i have no
succulent verse of carolina wind to whisper. i have only
come to bury my dead. i have only come to bury my dead.
this is my only sonnet. write in the dust with or without
the sandman's help . . . the moon is late. is somewhere raging
suicides and spreading apart skies. such is a product of my
unconsciousness. i do not know who i am and why i
choose . . . life? the writing will actualize the deed the
writing will fire the first plunge and sink the first little dove
into painless death. . . .
Breath of the Song: New And Selected Poems