Ed Barrett – Flight Wrestling At The Waist To A Ring

Ed Barrett

Flight Wrestling At The Waist To A Ring Over The Blue-Eyed Grass

“A little goes a long way,”
wrote the bird’s beak
questioning ends of things.
Waters speak to waters.
What can they be saying
around the house?

In dream Boston
an outdoor silent movie
playing on every surface
from MGH to the sunflower
dome of Beacon Hill,
schools, parking garages
nitrate stars eyeing words.

That figure in oil of the boy
climbs out of a flame.
Days passed
like dryads in a supermarket,
not a slender flame at all,
your name burned in,
something it couldn’t return to.

It feels good mostly to be real,
to stop and the birds
not mention a way
to figure it out opposite flight,
no wand of ash arrows
sluicing air and flesh,
no olive pit eyes
tossing their mute prayer.
All automatic things
live in a state of grace,
a vital happiness opposing
that which is never said.

Anyway, that’s what the birds sang
on the wing across the blade the face
feathers open, lime hands, lime eyes
deaf against what’s unknown.

Best then to imagine what you are doing
is permanent as far as you go,
you who devote yourself to so many things,
blades that face away, names
scallop-shelling to a shiny breathlessness,

Heart of water/heart of salt/wave upon wave upon wave

a descendant world, its imperceptible idealism
torn from protection when you made things speak.

return to SHAMPOO 34