Mary Burger’s Then Go On: In Twelve Meditations

Then Go On, by Mary Burger. Litmus Press, 2012. 93pp, poetry.

1. The river-bridge arcs under a paint blister in the ceiling. A sea-weed red hemorrhage. A dusk’s I-beam groomed in hermetic tide.

2. I read you in the Believer’s Twilight, your bronze page habituated by frost. Some people thought this was narrative. I tried to describe physics in the formal world.

3. Panic can be averted by holding one’s head in a bucket of cold water.

4. In a red velvet canoe, Stella Maris crossed the seabrisk surface. On her lap she carried a holy child. Scriptures of oak with egg-shaped leaves, a vellum seal of whitlow grass lined her silhouette. Her mother’s moss-shadow cast as green alluvial nightsheet.

Waking as daylight’s-wake filled spaces formed by sparrow’s unspent wing-puff — tamarisk breeze at cockcrow — I tasted the injured’s rhetoric go through me like Voodoo beads scattered across gulfweed.

5. Purple Fier, I downs to beach kelp. I just wish had I not to wait.

6. When she sees beyond the chihuahua-sized fawn’s transition (adoptee to a dead doe’s umbilical) she slathers mare’s milk to dappled fur, but this was a foal’s ointment.

7. Now that hospital soap is lifted off her legs in lustrous clay, and now, like sliding doors, the creek swells with seawater’s fiction. I am a strategist, and a strategist deciphers the self-question. The hemlock blur among pines geographic untells constellation, saline, sorrel.

No mother, your shadow is a shadow I bless in hepatica and delphinium. Horizon white the seacloth wrinkles — this dark is a new nothing— at skyline your shadow rises slightly — All as one, your heart, the sea and the sky-night is. As we were.

8. — she allows me to be imperfect with her —

9. Alkaline deer drag table-bread from the windowsill. It is overwinter and now darker into the dead, the glistening of a deer’s throat

10. Sunspeech, slow reckoning. Her hair a limestone skree…

11. The memory incidents were collected on small sheets of paper where the priest made prodigies of the wolves. Black fat clods of Helleborus rattled the vineyard.

12. Dear Mary,

It is true:

“In the hospital room the light was dim. Some lives bear no resemblance to the things that happen to them.”

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