BY CHERYL PALLANT; ILLUSTRATION BY LIZ BRENT
This she is also an I. I am listening. There is this way of
knowing. With bones, breath, a sideways glance, a whisper.
She walks across grass and down the corridor, struts in
rhythmic balance in ethereal laugh, a restorative planetary
sigh. Unlike a convulsion. Unlike hate locking doors in trigger
unhappiness. Peepers and crows call. The wasp and June bug
land and perform a symphony of silence, of wait and reveal,
of taking in and giving back. There is this way of listening to the
rush of rain, desire besting lush, another pour of coffee,
another elbow yank, another look of misgiving, a furrowed
crown, skin clenching after what will not yield. I am
listening to my best step forward. Ancestors string pearls,
glean futility for fertility, a promise of human touch that does
no harm and grows grass without mowing it down. Anticipate
a voice beckoning impulse that cannot be ignored. Endure
this. Breathe its passage. Insist upon nothing. Assert
melancholy s beauty, its dance in the desert. Oh ecstasy. Leg in
sand. Arm in escape. Thigh introverting plasma glory. Gore
from before gone. I glisten newly born, red faced, mouthing
words while stumbling, bumping walls and doors, an arrogance
of surfaces and obstinacy of angles. I pushes, I slides, I gasps
the pain of delight and the light of dark. Take her there. Take
me with you.
Cheryl Pallant is a dancer, writer and professor in Richmond, Virginia. She has published several books of poetry and nonfiction, as well as many articles. This poem was first published in Her Body Listening, by Blaze Vox Books.
Liz Brent is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, educator and producer in Oakland, CA. More of her work can be seen at www.lizb.work.