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This Beautiful Black Marriage Analysis

Author: poem of Diane Wakoski Type: poem Views: 10

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Photograph negative

her black arm: a diving porpoise,

sprawled across the ice-banked pillow.

Head: a sheet of falling water.

Her legs: icicle branches breaking into light.

This woman,

photographed sleeping.

The man,

making the photograph in the acid pan of his brain.

Sleep stain them both,

as if cloudy semen

rubbed shiningly over the surface

will be used to develop their images.

      on the desert

      the porpoises curl up,

      their skeleton teeth are bared by

      parched lips;

      her sleeping feet

      trod on scarabs,

      holding the names of the dead

      tight in the steady breathing.

      This man and woman have married

      and travel reciting


      names of missing objects.

      They enter a pyramid.

      A black butterfly covers the doorway

like a cobweb,

folds around her body,

the snake of its body

closing her lips.

her breasts are stone stairs.

She calls the name, "Isis,"

and waits for the white face to appear.

No one walks in these pyramids at night.

No one walks during

the day.

You walk in that negative time,

the woman's presence filling up the space

as if she were incense; man walks

down the crevices and

hills of her body.

Sounds of the black marriage

are ritual sounds.

Of the porpoises dying on the desert.

The butterfly curtaining the body,

The snake filling the mouth.

The sounds of all the parts coming together

in this one place,

the desert pyramid,

built with the clean historical

ugliness of men dying at work.

If you imagine, friend, that I do not have those

black serpents in the pit of my body,

that I am not crushed in fragments by the tough

butterfly wing

broken and crumpled like a black silk stocking,

if you imagine that my body is not


burned wood,

then you imagine a false woman.

This marriage could not change me.

Could not change my life.

Not is it that different from any other marriage.

They are all filled with desert journeys,

with Isis who hold us in her terror,

with Horus who will not let us see

the parts of his body joined

but must make us witness them in dark corners,

in bloody confusion;

and yet this black marriage,

as you call it,

has its own beauty.

As the black cat with its rich fur

stretched and gliding smoothly down the tree trunks.

Or the shining black obsidian

pulled out of mines and polished to the cat's eye.

Black as the neat seeds of a watermelon,

or a pool of oil, prisming the light.

Do not despair this "black marriage."

You must let the darkness out of your own body;

acknowledge it

and let it enter your mouth,

taste the historical darkness openly.

Taste your own beautiful death,

see your own photo image,

as x-ray,

Bone bleaching inside the blackening


Submitted by zenfishsticks


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