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Blog: Bittersweet
THE BLIND Susan Munden AllenThey wanted to see me naked At the St. Francis psych ward Before they would let me go home. I woke in a room with high windows To a scream I could not place, thinking for a moment It was me screaming from the white bed Beneath the high gray ceiling, damp In the heat hissing from the gray Radiator, but it was not me, some woman, maybe, on the ledge Just letting go, falling Into her death. I remembered you first. Then, with a will I clawed the light to catch I exhaled through the Haldol That tried to pin me to the sheets, gritted myself to move My arms, my legs leaden in slumber dreams thick in my brain. I remembered our red kitchen. A loud voice Crashing down on me, police in uniforms, shock of neighbors Was I on the floor? Slow I rose out of bed, to the hall, the noise of the dayroom Loud hum bearing down on me Up to the desk and asked Where am I. The days were solved like formulas With pills, meals with faces torn, broken, Group circle, the long slow tellings, so much swallowing Until finally I learned how to talk without shaking, To believe not everything was lost, and they told me It was time. Two women pulled folding chairs in my room. They held clipboards, Crossed their stocking legs. One woman drew the blinds to the trees outside So they would not see, and whisper. This would go fast She told me, and slowly, so they could look for cuts, bruises, Scars, I took off my clothes: Holding onto the edge of the bed, I began Shyly, with my socks, my jeans, and the rest, and before I turned I pulled a brief muslin sheet to hold across my breasts Then turned my body around, gravity like a fire Into which I let the muslin fall. Continue »
New Post
Blog: Bittersweet
Christ of the Ozarks for Roger Heather Ross Miller Seven-storied concrete raises a calculated glory, solid as a gun emplacement, determined to bless my sorry soul. His arms straight across, bear hard east and west, but nothing praises, a terrible windmill stalls against the best Eureka blue sky. I could see Missouri from here, but I want to go up inside this Christ, climb around and around his two million pounds of rough white casting. Startle birds roosting in his ribs, little wild furry things nesting around his heart. I want to look out through his eyes at the passion of the touring world, the people in their bright polyesters, the children chewing muffs of candy pink as mimosa fluff. Christ will not open himself, has no way in, not even a crawl space. A man trims boxwoods around the hem of the seamless garment. And I can't even find a bare toe, a sandal, to touch. The whole mountain is magnetic, things hold. I climb down through levels of gravel lots, the busy bubble of cell phones, and on my car a flutter of yellow finches tangles and quarrels, while crazy lovely squirrels tear through the woods. Continue »