has winched itself
eave to eave
there is a time
for the fly
to be silenced
has been silenced
begin to speak
has had its say
of your tread
I can never tell
if you’re walking away
or towards me
(after) every night
I begin to think I can hear
of silk unspooling
from the spider
of the fly
wounding the silk
What I Might Say
Tonight, I could be a fig tree, a resinous bed of mint,
a field of grapevines. Small and shivering leaves.
I could be bamboo, muttering to myself. Plaiting the edge
of a dried lake bed, waiting for the axe.
Rosemary, self-seeded among succulents. A trespasser,
not hiding my spikes, hoping you’ll let me stay.
The jewel spider, deep within the bezel of your eaves.
Guarding the threshold, ready with my silk.
Even belladonna in a ghostly dress, eyes unseeing, wide.
Circling the outside of your house, breathing through its cracks.
I long to be herbs in your fist, a lacquered eggplant, lemon.
A naked garlic clove, its fever numbing in your mouth.
Instead, while we sleep, I deepen under you. Become
uneasy water, an upturned boat, its mooring caught.
Part of the self leaves the body when we sleep
and changes shape. You might say, “Last night
I was a cypress tree, a small bed of tulips,
a field of grapevines.”
(from ‘Unmarked Boxes’ in The Essential Rumi: New Expanded Edition, 2004, translated by Coleman Barks. New York: HarperOne. 272)