Tumble Down

You know what will happen.

The way a house knows the spread of its foundations,
the balance of its roof, and the moment
when things start to slide away:
tiny patters of asphalt from softening shingles,
clicks and whispers from gray and feathery boards,
the occasional high crack of a window
in a warping frame.

Alone or in startled crowds
you've made those noises too
in bewilderment or dejection, or sharp fierce joy
in the breaking open of sores on your body
and the slackening of so many ties.

You're tumbling down in splintery increments.
Soon you'll be lying heaped on a patch of ground
silent, with ivy curling around your ears,
beetles eating and sleeping in your wounds,
and people following the smell to witness your decay.

They'll take pictures: flashbulbs exploding like blows to the head
your body revealed by the dying light as strewn with rubies -- no
something darker and damper -- streaks and droplets of jasper
like muddy rain fallen on muddy streams
and green spreading out like grass on a delta
and bluish purple like clots of wild flowers
sweetly drawing flies.

You know this will happen.
In the hour of your fermentation
the moment of your rising,
will come tourists with guidebooks and comments;
to tear away your vegetation,
pocket your loosening pieces,
break up your yeasty bubbles
and move on to something more spectacular.

No matter. Their footprints
will leave spaces for you to fill at your leisure
and bits of you will cling to their shoes and clothing.
As they walk they will scatter your pieces like seeds
to burst and grow.

for The Scheherazade Project
Criticism/Comments welcome

Posted by Trista @ 9:03 PM

Read or Post a Comment

Unusual, very good!
I love the imagery :-)

Posted by Blogger Sam @ 9:36 AM #

Trista, this is lovely, sad, hopeful.

Something I love about your poetry is you balance between beautiful, concrete moments that expand out into more abstract ideas.

Posted by Blogger Lauri @ 11:33 AM #

This is incredible! I love the imagery. The subject could easily slide into darkness and despair, but you hold it up with grace and show us hope.

Posted by Blogger Dick the Boomer @ 3:57 PM #

beautiful poem. Have you read Sharon Olds? She's one of my favorites, I really think you would like her.

Posted by Anonymous ~ danielle @ 3:59 PM #
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