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Fri, Feb. 2nd, 2007, 12:57 am
Creative Act, 2/2

A second poem, this one based on The Six Swans. I figured I might as well experiment with form while I’m still flying on the “Wow, I’m writing!” high of it, so this one’s a sonnet.

Hair Shirt

Here it is: the joint of flesh and feather.
Other boys grow hair, there in the hollow
of the armpit, and he wonders whether
he’ll grow down, down below, to follow.

Six years a swan and he’s forgotten how
his solid bones assault his skin, betrayed,
as if they knew they’d once been earth. And now
he’s neither fish nor fowl, caught halfway

between the high sweet beat of wings beneath
the sun, and his bones’ deep imperative
to reach, to grind, to blossom, to sheathe
himself like a knife. How can he forgive

his sister, whose own pleasured nights
have left him a man, but with memories of flight?