by Sarah Payne
In the world of my body’s time, to be illuminated meant to be lighted by fire only The candle of the sun igniting and extinguishing each day: how perpetual these orbs You began to go astray when you spoke your first lie against what you knew O body, said the light Say these things now
Hildegard on the Lecture Circuit
These curling bodies come toward each other like doughs in a bowl. Your fingers depart me, and the smells of pears come wickedly through the slim window. The man in Trier watched me with both of his blue eyes, as you, as the sparrow on the walnut branch fix on me now. O, you are the worst of the delights, . You come to me as thunder in my skull, as dim lights through which I dearly strain to see.
Even in my texts I am fearful, . Volmar records my fear. Richardis keeps it moving. I love and fear the proximity of your mouth, its gorgeous dark. We age, Volmar Our skins, spirits go floating like smoke in September We have been companions of many words We are within the effacing of their types The orchard blazes with eagles and rains pebbles that scatter, bouncing above our shoulders, heads Did we set this fire? The weightless orchard floats its chunks and roots out of the earth The places of these things deny their fixedness and now we pace under the shifting My habit sleeves brushing the tall grasses going by, your robe catching flame The carrots unmooring from the wormy garden Voles twisting in the air and the river releasing from its frame
Sarah Payne grew up in Maine and lives in California, where she is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley. Her poems have appeared in Sand, Gasher, Dialogist, Tishman Review and elsewhere, and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
SARAH PAYNE‘s chapbook, The Hildegard Sequence, was a semifinalist in our Fall 2020 Digging Press Chapbook Competition.
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