Charlotte’s Call


How she wanted to dance anger out of silence:
expletives of lightning thrumming onto exploded 
ground,
the ground from which there was no going back
now that she was awake.
                                  It was summer then,
the land of thunderstorms beyond the borders of the 
old country.
That old country was falling apart. She was an 
unfit rebel,
shuffling categories in her hands like cards, her 
     chipped nails
holding texts that she read at night by the lamp 
of her being.
Her name meandered out beyond definition.
She found her discourse in morning sunlight,
ripe grass going to seed, found herself in 
meadows, mountains,
in maturity and the melting of what they told her 
      she was.
She was not, she shouted: “I am not!” She refused 
      and turned,
her hair returning from the desert of the crown 
of her head.
She’d had enough. She tipped the bucket, turned 
it over. All,
all the empathy spilled in patterns of delight, 
of the colors
that can only be described as true, as bright as 
the brown
of the spider she allowed to crawl up her arm. 
Her honey bees
came to her, all sunlight and glass, out beyond 
breath, honeysuckle
hundreds of miles above what the patriarchs proclaimed.
She was enough, more than enough, she was more 
and she shouted,
“More light! More darkness!” Words blossomed as
      red-winged blackbirds
from her hands. “I refuse,” she said, turning, 
her skirt shivering
outward like the yellow branches of daffodils.
The old country trembled in revolution.
Music sang her.
Sunlight scorched and quenched and she poured the 
      anger out,
rang the wet fabrics of her sadness and created 
rivers. These rivers
that saturate us and our land, these rivers that 
fly around our houses
in spring, flush with rain and snow and singing 
renewal into bones.
She is in that future. She sends shattered 
imaginings—the fine sand,
atoms of hard-won skin, not sacrificed but 
sanctified, resurgent—
She is in this strawberry. She breathes songs. 
She brings rain.
She brings rain.
At this time,
in this place,
this body,
I bring her into being.
I exhume, animate,
move beyond constraint
to move freely
and flood myself more fully
with myself. I love her
and she is me.
Grass underfoot, she’s leaving the flip-flops 
behind,
coming out of the desert into wilder lands.
She imagines cupping cold water in her hands
and drinking, describing new labels as she flings
     arcs of water
into emergent skies. And she sits, meditates on 
this landscape
of grass and honeydew, notices all the 
impossibilities—
the imaginings denied her by the wizards of the 
old country—
being nurtured by the water. These seedlings 
smile and wave.
That mountain in the distance will not allow 
herself to be clearcut.
That mountain will send armies of bears and 
badgers, will launch wars
of birds bearing sunflowers. Those wars will fall 
     apart, fall to seed,
night will fall, the trees will reach down into Earth and find
thunder. Then the truth will bloom on branches, 
untended.


 

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