A plea for this moment of water’s no color, no taste, that is midnight over mud-leaf brown, that is bitten fish seepage borrowed from the sky under sky. We are alone inside the moan and cry of music, where moon sheds its shine on a loneliness lost, forever ours inside the swan of our bodies’ glister and glide, where he leans into what carries us, what feathers us forth. If I hold to one note in song’s unscrolling, I wound the swan’s legs with a stone dragging lake bottom. If beauty becomes unbearable, then there’s ruin for the world’s welter of white: the pear orchard to unpetal in the swan’s clouded slumber, a blossom’s fragrance bedded deep inside fruit-meat of the fast-beating heart. Better to let music live as wings on water, something impossibly here, how sky meets and mounts its mirror of echoing underflow, the way our bodies melt to shine and shadow-flight: one bird born to the weight of darkness, wrecked by light rapturing each shingle of spine, each nexus of nerve. Diminuendo. Nothing is diminished when air carries bone––
140 The Paris-American
Gillian Cummings’ poems have appeared in Boulevard, Colorado Review, The Cream City Review, Denver Quarterly, The Laurel Review, The Massachusetts Review and other journals. She is the author of two chapbooks, Spirits of the Humid Cloud (dancing girl press, 2012) and Petals as an Offering in Darkness,(Finishing Line Press, forthcoming March 2014). A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA program, she lives in Greenburgh, New York and teaches poetry workshops at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She is also a visual artist.