revised poems #1-3

i'm finally getting around to revising last month's poems. i did these three last night, and it almost killed me. as it goes in revision, i am simultaneously more and less sure of these versions of the poems.

more to come soon.

1. "fatigue"

i know no fatigue like my daughter's cries
3 a.m. wednesday morning
after a thirteen hour day.
thursday morning, rather, wednesday night,
the red block-numbers on the clock face
do not blink: 3-thirteen
and dreaming of dreaming
and holding, with all of my might,
my daughter up, my eyes barely open.
she will not need to feed
for two more hours,
and she will not stop.
she does not know that i could cry
as she is crying,
that together, we would never stop.

2. "Sacrifice"

i. Prelude

I cannot think of what a poem is
just now: sunset or sunrise?
Days gone past, or days ahead?
What did he say,
what color were her eyes?
I cannot think of what a poem is, today.

ii. Sacrifice

The flames flicked, licked
at her calves, thighs, waist.
Orange dawn was still a fresh taste,
whetted with smoke and the birth of fire.
I would stay until I smelled only ash
and crisp flesh, and longer.
She was a martyr, and her eyes were blue.
She said it was the only thing to do,
and she said that death is good.
As the wood began to catch
the man next to me, just to my left,
began crying out: "Witch! Wiiiitch!"
And I held my breath.
I thought of the secrets I alone now kept.
I closed my eyes and wept.

3. "warmish afternoon"

on a warmish afternoon,
like oranges peeled carefully, slices dripping
and eating section by section, juices dripping,
we made love
under the oak by the short stone wall
in the far corner of her parents' back 40.
after, when we were sprawled out
on our backs in the grass,
she let a moment pass
before she rolled onto her side,
leaned toward me and sighed,
and asked me.
we were married the next spring
under the oak by the short stone wall,
before our families and the section of trunk
on which we'd carved our initials
above the date.

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Blogger Josh said...

any reason why you decided not to link these back to the first drafts?

11:06 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Looks like you're well on your way with these revisions. I am particuarly fond of "fatigue;" you express that quality of tiredness/duty/love/near desperation so well. Nice.

3:53 PM  

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