a weekly of fantastical poetry





Mirrored Mappings
(what is created, it has always been)

by Rose Lemberg


You told me, walk softly in the desert that births bone, 
dreams pasts of its body, stitches bone
into sand's living shroud, sings
in languages never spoken;
Let them be spoken now
into a past of your own choosing.

I asked, What good it is to choose
between things nonexistent? How does one shape 
minutes and days out of an unlived past,
an emptiness of bones to sing
unspoken languages
stitched into neverborn mouths?

You said, Choosing is not the detail;
no, choosing is a feeling in your chest
that unfolds Birdlike, that makes space for holiness, 
hollows you out for new growth —
that, too, is yours;
claim the hollowness inside
and fill it with a voice to command.

I hollowed myself until the skin sagged
over my ample future-flesh; I folded the future 
into the folds of my belly, made
an emptiness in my ribcage
for a past to be born.

I filled it with the voice to command 
and exhaled that;
I spoke gently,
asking the form to shape itself.

The sand called its name,
deepnames under the ground whispered starfire 
as in the first days, when Bird had brought
stars down into our waiting hands,

never existing before;

Yes, the stars whispered to me
their stories, what they would share,
in languages unspoken
— spoken here for millenia.

The hands of the desert rose up,
shaped by the whirlwind, sown for me
these smallbone garments, to walk out the sands, 
unbirth my birth or perhaps affirm it,
test the tenets of the wind,
and all of the weavings I had made.

Walking, I filled the folds
of my once-supple skin with water and fat, 
with my age, until I undo it,
with my youth, for which I do not yearn.

Listen, I said, I carry the desert inside me, 
even as I walk out of here:
this carpet, lovingly wrought
of tumbleweed and dust;

                         Listen, you said, I, too,
                         carry the desert inside me;
                         a weave of gold and liongrass 
                         stitched with dry thunder:

This is why we met,
                      making each other, fearing
each other and letting that go; loving -
                      not loving, you said; no, too close for comfort;
honoring, then -
                      or better yet, accepting whole,
Seeing as you are,
                      rising
each to each, from this sand,
                      mirrored in its whirlwind.

So I told you, walk softly in the desert that births bone, 
dreams a past of its body, stitches bone
into sand's living shroud, sings
in languages never spoken;
Let them be spoken now.



June 21st, 2016



web design © mitchell hart