This is a poem written for a teacher who was dying, Elizabeth Bolles. The gesture described is a physical experience/developmental concept in somatic psychology.
Homologous Reach With Hands
What is night with no stalwart of night
set on his heels
Who will clean the clocks, scrub their faces glistening, sharp,
who will lay the carpet of black grass on the blue street
whisper to the sleeping leaves and curled buds?
Leaving night invites the prospect of night’s departure,
commits the day.
Leaving night leaves my side,
it bares the body, worse, the mind
will ravage the silent town
enacting their insane drama
of life stripped down to its meaning.
Protect me, o daylight, with tedium: tea cups
and bus rides, a “wow, nice weather” or
“long line, huh?”
Night is departure.
A train forever flashing through an open tunnel.
Asleep across the city on a morphine tide,
you drift between home and home forgotten. Night is the letting you go.
Who watches over you, set on her heels,
informing the raxed leaves of endings?
You say dying is like being a baby
everything is tiring, makes you cry, takes time.
You tell this to a room of grown-up faces
turned childish, yielded to you
as we always were
but now, night, what disguises we wore to get here safely
we find were only
our mother’s discarded sheets.
Sheepish, we pull them slowly from our heads,
hair haloed in static.
Tonight we talk about desire, the homologous reach with hands.
I reach for god without meaning to.
You talk about your garden,
the chair your friend got you, your feet in a plastic bag of pink petals.
Ten rapt faces, arms hugging knees.
of night becoming deeper night, night without its guardian.
I dream of broken teacups.
I dream of a barely missed bus.
How one might practice: push from hands and knees,
to arms lifted overhead, face facing up–
a child’s asking.
My friend says, is anyone else having visions of something they want?
Yes, oh yes:
You are talking about the weather;
I reach without meaning to.