08 September 2012

muriel rukeyser

Effort at Speech Between Two People. 

 :    Speak to me.     Take my hand.     What are you now?
      I will tell you all.     I will conceal nothing.
      When I was three, a little child read a story about a rabbit
      who died, in the story, and I crawled under a chair     :
      a pink rabbit     :     it was my birthday, and a candle
      burnt a sore spot on my finger, and I was told to be happy.

:     Oh, grow to know me.     I am not happy.     I will be open:
      Now I am thinking of white sails against a sky like music,
      like glad horns blowing, and birds tilting, and an arm about me.
      There was one I loved, who wanted to live, sailing.

:     Speak to me.     Take my hand.     What are you now?
      When I was nine, I was fruitily sentimental,
      fluid     :     and my widowed aunt played Chopin,
      and I bent my head on the painted woodwork, and wept.
      I want now to be close to you.     I would
      link the minutes of my days close, somehow, to your days.

:     I am not happy.     I will be open.
      I have liked lamps in evening corners, and quiet poems.
      There has been fear in my life.     Sometimes I speculate
      On what a tragedy his life was, really.

:     Take my hand.     Fist my mind in your hand.     What are you now?
      When I was fourteen, I had dreams of suicide,
      and I stood at a steep window, at sunset, hoping toward death     :
      if the light had not melted clouds and plains to beauty,
      if light had not transformed that day, I would have leapt.
      I am unhappy.     I am lonely.     Speak to me.

:     I will be open.     I think he never loved me:
      he loved the bright beaches, the little lips of foam
      that ride small waves, he loved the veer of gulls:
      he said with a gay mouth: I love you.     Grow to know me.

:     What are you now?     If we could touch one another,
      if these our separate entities could come to grips,
      clenched like a Chinese puzzle … yesterday
      I stood in a crowded street that was live with people,
      and no one spoke a word, and the morning shone.
      Everyone silent, moving … Take my hand.     Speak to me.