Anne HathawayThe bed we loved in was a spinning world of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seaswhere we would dive for pearls. My lover’s wordswere shooting stars which fell to earth as kisseson these lips; my body now a softer rhymeto his, now echo, assonance; his toucha verb dancing in the centre of a noun.Some nights, I dreamed he’d written me, the beda page beneath his writer’s hands. Romanceand drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,dribbling their prose. My living laughing love -I hold him in the casket of my widow’s headas he held me upon that next best bed.
I just didn’t get it—even with the teacher holding an orange (the earth) in one handand a lemon (the moon) in the other,her favorite student (the sun) standing behind her with a flashlight.I just couldn’t grasp it—this whole citrus universe, these bumpy planets revolving so slowlyno one could even see themselves moving.I used to think if I could only concentrate hard enoughI could be the one person to feel what no one else could,sense a small tug from the ground, a sky shift, the earth changing gears.Even though I was only one mini-speck on a speck,even though I was merely a pinprick in one goosebump on the orange,I was sure then I was the most specially perceptive, perceptively sensitive.I was sure then my mother was the only mother to snap,“The world doesn’t revolve around you!”The earth was fragile and mostly water,just the way the orange was mostly water if you peeled it,just the way I was mostly water if you peeled me.Looking back on that third grade science demonstration,I can understand why some people gave up on fame or religion or cures—especially people who have an understandingof the excruciating crawl of the world,who have a well-developed sense of spatial reasoningand the tininess that it is to be one of us.But not me—even now I wouldn’t mind being god, the forcewho spins the planets the way I spin a globe, a basketball, a yoyo.I wouldn’t mind being that teacher who chooses the fruit,or that favorite kid who gives the moon its glow.
The FallenIt was the nighta comet with its silver tailfell through darknessto earth's eroded field,the night I foundthe wolf,starved in metal trap,teeth brokenfrom pain's hard bite,its belly swollen with unborn young.In our astronomythe Great Wolflived in the sky.It was the mother of all womenand howled her daughter's namesinto the winds of night.But the new people,whatever stepped inside their shadow,they would kill,whatever crossed their path,they came to fear.In their science,Wolf as not the mother.Wolf was not wind.They did not learn healingfrom her song.In their storiesWolf was the devil, fallingdown an empty,shrinking universe,God's Luciferwith yellow eyesthat had seen their failingsand knew that they could kill the earth,that they would kill each other.That nightI threw the fallen stone back to skyand falling starsand watched it all come downto ruined earth again.Sky would not take backwhat it had done.That night, sky was a wilderness so closethe eerie light of heavenand storming hands of sunreached down the swollen bellyand dried up nipples of a hungry world.That night,I saw the trapper's shadowand it had four legs.