Robin Gunkel: Things that Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

Spring '07 TOC

It is night and one is expecting a visitor. Suddenly one is startled by the sound of
raindrops, which the wind blows against the shutters.

five limbs splayed, naked starfish on the beach pointing porous legs, dangling on edge
of utilitarian bed, the door's wide shut, light slices hinges like a Victorian lock and a
dangling key. Like a lock of curled blonde hair in a loch her weight sinks deep. Head,
heavy weight more than pillow can hold, can huddle in blankets to chase Colorado
chill mountain cold, lightning heard through Venetian blinds, brief rupture of sound,
unwritten sky- mine the stripped unconscious, hoary, nameless trees filled in shadow
and high noon light, a dream of menstruation in drops against porcelain basin- it's all
written in the night

of what make's one's heart beat faster- Shinobu in Shiseido red, oriental silk and ankle
baring heels, a slit in the dress like a banana peeled- in Chinatown they pluck their
eyebrows and purse their lips, Gucci, Prada, Vuitton sway side by side, the crux of
pointed elbow into side- pedestrians jostle and huddle by- green tea and pork gyoza to
buy- Arigato Gozaimashita, Irashimase! Nasal salutations assault and pierce the
humidity, listless sky

he dripped sweat, severed neck with the crack of bone- waterlogged and dredged
rotting from the Ganges for skull to sip from. Hair piled high on head and sometimes
tethered to cave wall- the stench is said to be unbearable and rods and cones
multiplied- perceptible perception of two wives- one short worn, Nepalese, a shared
life and the other tall white thighs, lotus and vajra joined, Buddha and Buddha wife

never seen a hungry ghost outside the mind with a narrow throat and bulging eyes, but
offering bowls of tsok blessed cookies, incense, water and rice sit in a copper line of
candlelight- appease underworld belly, quivering plight

traverse flesh- surface of a cratered, shadowed moon- and hoary carapaces of skin, the
kimono conceals. Grey clouds of billowing smoke, have a half life- dividing- bento of
peas turned to lead and Kanon, melted goddess of mercy there's a history written in
the flesh.

:: Next ::

Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
© 2012 Naropa University