Between the Voice and the Feather

for Edith Piaf

Her voice-pulse gouges its echo of presence
against a dark rim of shore.
An invisible current sifts the heart.
Harp-ends of waves funnel water into water.
Bridings of sea climb in a naked furrow.

A voice with its hands on its hips.
Not the cliché of wreckage and salvage, but
the lightness of one feather without
its bird-proof. Restorative power of song
cleansed of regret. Especially
the song recalled from childhood, that lost ocean.

Memory of oceans. The Atlantic at Strandhill
mixed with the Pacific at La Push — milky, luminous
mind-stream tossed toward a vast inner feasting,
its meld of gypsy-oblivion, of raw exhalation, the sea
withdrawing so as to dash up with force.

The bee of sorrow had stung her heart, until
there was no such thing as listening. Hearing
took up its own body, as when the spirit
craves to empty out, to rouse its pains at a rough pitch
that refuses to be entirely soothed away.

What was her courage except a buoyancy
where sorrow co-exists with joy — her jaunty
flaunting of extremes?

The gaze of her voice fixed on something far away.
The bee of sorrow had stung her heart.

Printed from Cerise Press:

Permalink URL: