30 May 2009

Christina Davis

[from Christina Davis's Forth a Raven, Alice James, 2006]

The Outset


It's 7:30. It is still possible
to know where you are.

The field quiet and birded, across it a deer has fled
and then turned back
as if it left some part of itself behind,
the part that feared me.


Which is harder, do you think, the journey to paradise
or the one to the underworld,
if on either occasion you know from the outset

you will have to return?


Before there was a self, there were many hunches,

many came to the cradle
but in going began
to define me as what-does-not-go-away.


We are each what never leaves us, what we never see
the back of
is the self. But what loves us

is at the back, as Eurydice was
escorting him out
without his knowing.


It is eight o'clock, it is ten. It is time.

Home begins
in the mind, a dream

of walking.

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  1. This is very beautiful. I love the deer stanza especially. Thank you.

  2. My favorite section is numbered iv--that is the best sample of a haunting line break I've seen in years.

  3. and still and deep...fine indeed!!