Lucie Brock-Broido


Meditation on the Sources of the Catastrophic Imagination

Green as alchemy and even more scarce, little can be known
Of the misfortunes of a saint condemned to turn great sorrows

Into greater egrets, ice-bound and irrevocable. The wings were left ajar
At the altar where I've knelt all night, trembling, leaning, rough

As sugar raw, and sweet. From the outside, peering in, it would seem
My life had been smooth as a Prussian ship gliding on the bridegroom

Of her Baltic waters in a season of no wind. Tinny empire,

Neighborhood of Bokhara silks, were you to go, I would stop—simply
As a pilgrim putting down his cup. Most of my life,

I had consorted with the unspeakable, longing to put my mouth
On it. I was just imagining. I can be

Resumed. Some nights, I paint into the scene two Doves,
I being alternately one and then the other, calling myself by my kind.

In the living will if it says: Hydrate. Please.
Hydration only. Do not resume me then.
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