Poem #2: She is writing her self portrait

She is writing her self-portrait

Rolling words within her mouth
Like the finely pointed tip of a brush
Its camel bristles viridian green
While the broader brush beside it
Glistens with a simpler blue
Simple as mountain air is simple
Blue with the evening damp
A thin mist of blue and grey
And the promise of evening rain
Not simple at all, really

The lines she hopes will sing
Quiver like the strings
Of the untuned harp in the corner
That still holds the memory
Of music within tensile wires
Hum in sympathy to colours and textures
Palette knife and finger
Stone and rag and bone
She knows she must include

How will she draw the rivers
She wonders
The earthy Mekong brown
The silverine of the Chao Phraya
The red clay of the Arkansas
The chatoyance of this newest friend
For now, she is an island
in a confluence of waters
How their currents fed her from wide beds
How she moved over and through
Their slick finned stories

It is more than hesitating brush and ink
Are able in her faltering hand
To render
The cacaphony that masquerades
As her name, her face
How it changes colours
As the rivers widen shorten deepen
Each a note on a staff in a lyric
That needs more music to move
As the wind does As the birds do
As she did each year of her fragmented childhood
In arcs of bright morning light
In swooping loops of flight
In the scalloped surfaces of rivers
That might as well be her own blood
Circling in pulsing rhythm
Her faceless homeless heart




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