* a makeshift anniversary w/ lucille clifton

A year ago, I was in the hospital due to some GI issues that brought me close to dying. I have been wondering how I would feel come this makeshift anniversary. Strangely enough, I am in the same mix of life as then.

That said, I do see myself in a different place in the light of the many gifts since then: the gift of my first wedding anniversary; the gift of seeing Everything We Think We Hear printed as well as having The Book of Flight soar into the (e)world; the gift of doing poetry readings in my hometown again; the gift of having my family hear me read poems and share what I love; the gift of new projects and new friends.

This makeshift anniversary has brought up complicated feelings to say the least. And yet, the feelings aren’t exactly unmanageable or strange. When I think of poets able to navigate this terrain of human fatefulness, Lucille Clifton comes readily to mind.

praying-hands-715764_960_720In the poem below, Clifton describes “sorrows” through imagery that evokes a mix of angels and the duende. It’s exactly this mix of the living and the dying that poetry manages to bring to understanding one lyric at a time.

sorrows – Lucille Clifton

who would believe them winged
who would believe they could be

beautiful who would believe
they could fall so in love with mortals

that they would attach themselves
as scars attach and ride the skin

sometimes we hear them in our dreams
rattling their skulls clicking

their bony fingers
they have heard me beseeching

as i whispered into my own
cupped hands enough not me again

but who can distinguish
one human voice

amid such choruses
of desire

*

Happy chorusing!

José

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

        Reasons (not) to Dance by Jose Angel Araguz

          Reasons (not) to Dance

by Jose Angel Araguz

            Giveaway ends August 07, 2016.

See the giveaway details

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