Saturday, 18 May 2019

Gabriel poem by Adrienne Rich

There are no angels yet
here comes an angel one
shut-off the dark
side of the moon turning to me
and saying: I am the plumed
serpent the beast
with fangs of fire and a gentle heart
But he doesn’t say that His message
drenches his body
he’d want to kill me
for using words to name him
I sit in the bare apartment reading
words stream past me poetry
twentieth-century rivers
disturbed surfaces reflecting clouds
reflecting wrinkled neon
but clogged and mostly
nothing alive left in their depths
The angel is barely speaking to me
Once in a horn of light
he stood or someone like him
salutations in gold-leaf
ribboning from his lips
Today again the hair streams
to his shoulders
the eyes reflect something
like a lost country or so I think
but the ribbon has reeled itself up
He isn’t giving or taking any shit
We glance miserably
across the room at each other
It’s true there are moments
closer and closer together
when words stick in my throat
‘the art of love’
‘the art of words’
I get your message Gabriel
just will you stay looking
straight at me
awhile longer

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