"Through a Glass Darkly"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Aug. 31 2010 7:06 AM

"Through a Glass Darkly"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear  Traci Brimhall read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes..

You counted days by their cold silences.
............At night, wolves and men with bleeding hands

colonized your dreams. The last time I visited,
............you said you trapped a dead woman in your room

who told you to starve yourself to make room for God,
............so I let them give your body enough electricity

to calm it. Don't be afraid. The future is not disguised
............as sleep. It is a tango. It is a waterfall between

two countries, the river that tried to drown you.
............It is a city where men speak a language

you can fake if you must. It's the hands of children
............thieving your empty pockets. It's bicycles

with bells ringing through the streets at midnight.
............Come up from the basement. It's not over.

Before the sun rises, moonlight on the trees.
............Before they tear the asylum down, joy.

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Traci Brimhall is the author of Our Lady of the Ruins and Rookery, as well as the recipient of 2013 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.