A change of wind, or did I move
too suddenly this time —
a rabbit runs in and then out of sight
runs into the rain-soaked weeds, there, like this —
permanently startled at the edge of one place
among many places.
The only thing moving between the light
and the grass —
It is the light between grass.
Machinery of legs,
As when its feet, running easily turn the earth
as if to red jasper
as if to evening, changing its way
into black, heightened by longing
I want its weight to be enough
to keep me
on the earth longer.
This is the kick:
Those legs are powerful amplified
to the size of our strangeness.
lengthening as it runs —
My Petit Hôtel
The interior is the empty carapace of a crab
reduced to paper and breath almost cerulean
Each room curled around the other,
expanding in precise increments.
Light folding in the corners.
You can get lost here
unseen hands have stolen your coat
leaving behind child’s
baptismal gown and the footprints of birds.
You can fly by yourself —
go with your dreams entangled in your hair.
Stele For My Brother
My brother comes to me, hands held out. There are pine needles
cupped in his palm, arranged in the shape
of a bird.
Some things are like this: Asleep, lit up
in the hundred shades of dark that exist only in dreams,
the ghosts of birds flying away at will.
He does not speak:
But then he calls me by my childhood name:
Suzie, this is our father, he says.
He holds up the pine needles, hands extended
giving them to me.
Dark against dark, a fish that shines suddenly
showing its eyes before turning, and then
the leaf-moving light on his hands.
But I am hesitant to take them from him:
the pine needles would become disordered,
no longer in the shape of a bird, and thus
no longer our father.
I will never get used to these damned resurrections —
Gravity gets us all in the end And in the end
We are a pine needles in a dream
looking frantically for the switch that always keeps moving
around, and that will make it all happen again
— Knock, knock
— Who’s there?
— It’s me, Dad
— It’s me Dad who?
— Dad, why does God torture us?
— Suzie, the happiest people are the ones who don’t ask these damned questions. Also there is no God. I can verify that since I am dead
— Oh. Goodnight then
When I think of the bluefish, I see it pushing
against the wave, holding the immensity of the sky inside.
Its gills flap open then shut and become
part of the face.
Hunger brings it to the surface,
to the place between
black and silver and black coming off against the wave.
We try to hide our atrocities, and fail insatiable.
We say we want other worlds
red at the center
breaking the surface, the long fin extended
Something made by a planet, it is the star, staring back at us,
wave inside wave inside
And the full moon, a bright muscle in summer,
a smear of silver in the sky, there.
Let me make a map to it with spider thread:
Its shadow shines beneath the beneath
and the beneath of it all —
keeping me awake and transcendent.
The moon is fast, and show through as —
a root pressed against glass
And the wind pounding the screen open and shut against the doorjamb calls out:
If only, if only then
How far we run together in one night,
pulling the sea behind us.
The machinery is wonderful. One lever does it all!
How bright we are for awhile here,
and for awhile how brief brief
and so bright until lost, whited out, to
the sun’s duration.
From Variations on the Metaphysical
(A cutout poem, based upon the work of George Herbert; huge liberties taken)
O Mortal Heat
Consume our World:
And such as our Lust
kindled shall leave us panting
Heart upon heart devoured
And devoured again:
Then shall our inventions
Send fire again O flame!
Our eyes see dust blown kind
To our wits shall we bow and rise
Touch lips and
Sing praise with
originally published in Summer Stock
Suzanne Mercury lives in Boston where she she is an impassioned flânuer, gardener, lucid dreamer, and maker of strange objects.