April 16, 2014

It Was Enough For Us Just to Keep It Clean. ~ Stephanie Berger {Poem}

Rob Greaves / Pixoto


There is too much dust in the

air, the slightest breeze &

it’s back, it’s rubbing

its back upon the marble

tabletop & even

on the tooled-leather desk, its

diamond patterns and a wonderful

dexterity, grace in her

hands like silver dragonflies

weaving over one another,

bringing life to a

shawl, white,

green, lilac. It is a heavenly

palace. Who

will clean it? Some intruders

find their way

into the south wing of your

house, and you let them

stay, never say hello, you never

leave your library

anyway. When

you return to the stream from which

you were fed, from whence

you came and went and

returned, there is a man

there now, the water

runs faster, you will be

like the water, you will

not stop for him, in his black hat. He

follows you, asks

if you are a pupil of St. John.

Of course you are a pupil

of literally everything around

but say no. You must stop

so that the rest of us

can keep going. The water

is roaring now, the water is

rising, the dragonflies

descend upon her hands

as if she were

the water itself. There is nothing

one can do about love but express it

as often as possible. There

is nothing one can

do about beauty

but make something of it. Her father,

the heavens themselves, old

& grey, bearded as clouds,

would tell her she never earned it. Things

would be given to her, opportunities

would be presented but she

didn’t deserve any of it

more than the next

goddess. If she didn’t bear children, if

she didn’t return to the spring or leave

the library and stop, is there any

palace a woman can enter

when she is afraid to fail?

One can reread a book, but once

a pullover is knitted,

you can’t do it over, it’s

some kind of disgrace.

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Apprentice Editor: Carrie Marzo / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Rob Greaves / Pixoto

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Stephanie Berger