Saturday, April 10, 2010

“Portage” by John Glenday

We carry the dead in our hands.
There is no other way.

The dead are not carried in our memories. They died
in another age, long before this moment.
We shape them from the wounds
they left on the inanimate,
ourselves, as falling water
will turn stone into a bowl.

There is no room in our hearts
for the dead, though we often imagine that there is,
or wish it to be so,
to preserve them in our warmth,
our sweet darkness, where their fists
might beat at the soft contours of our love.
And though we might like to think
that they would call out to us, they could never do so,
being there. They would never dare to speak,
lest their mouths, our names, fill
quietly with blood.

We carry the dead in our hands
as we might carry water - with a careful,
reverential tread.
There is no other way.

How easily, how easily their faces spill.

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