In-Between Red & Blue Poetry Potpourri Stephanie Pope


--In-Between Red & Blue

------------stephanie pope

Photo taken in winter in Texas. The foliage on the tree is entirely that of the evergreen mistletoe. nr/fid/fidls/147.htm

Hackberry (Celtis sp.)
                                               heavily infected by
                                               P. tomentosum ssp.
For Greg, Maggie, David & Ric, and their feel for the image now
"Let it be done to her," said he
and it grew in her like
mistletoe grows in winter
a parasite
a grey winter white
blanketing the tree

but she was willing
& she taught me
that the night's white
grew in her like
mistletoe grows

the white snow
the black branch
the red din

the blue ruffle
just grows
like the dream grew
last night in me

am i not like her just letting myself
do what it wants and needs her to do
knowing mostly its not about me at all
while i know it knows the story better
knows just what it gathers just now &
takes what it wants & matters that
into me & into how this night
in me endures it—this night!
(O holy night)

go grey
and gray
grows heavy
in divinity
this disease
and i think now
of the cost
and the worth
in the story

am i not like her
maybe not
not as certain i can bear it (or should)
growing war civil old & blue in bark
like a branch suddenly remembering
where she, trunked and treed
no longer peoples now in leaves and rust
and must

Elle at midnight, purpling in fear, i hear
tick slick slurring long shadows
against my back, the massive tangle
shocks me wide in wake and panes
dark the holocaust this dreams in sleep
with me. It makes in me so unresolved in it
and only god knows better than it in i
this dream in mistletoe grown. What scars
my skin these shades of bearing it
winning & losing, bluing & greying the soul of what union? I’m
bearing it not wanting to (but, it's not about me!) And so she
lets my own despair closet me in the moss cloth
neither me nor mine. Truly, i am guilty! (guilty of letting) this
throw arms around me now red in certainties so shallow
these chap in pillow-talk what spirits talk in sex sterile & clean
& religiously right an impotence of image iced eternally sterile &
immortally fertile; although even these insistences slip on my sill come
midnight &
                              will in
pastel curl over the slips
wrapping back around the
pink dawn purpling slick
the stick shadow these
tick through that deadly
hour while the parasite,
heavy with what's already
                             been done, holds
night slips further in-between what matters and what doesn’t

do not have what it takes
god knows
things play take away so
easily with me & i
do not like the words that
are not like hers—not
gifted in unsayables
mine are not like hers
they keep looking for the way
to slip this hold of super-cold
back into its envelope. Let the
mail slipping-god slip god knows what in-between
this confusa so pregnant in not wanting to until

not wanting to, desire slips growing gray & grey in dream upon
the silver darkness blessing it divinely blue in have of whiteness &
still cloudy in words. The dream mattering clashes and smashes
tick against tock no actual snow but a radiant overflow. The
radiant white, now a blanket the small dark desires free upon
dawn in early new bled light, shines night blue & through; the
older fundament, a symbolism of colour
how she burns night as if comfort hides inside the emanation,
lives there outside the cold terror’s pretense of purity. We do not
live beyond such havings nor live unfreed in such doublings the
other this lives now—the thing
in all these greatest things. It lives immanent beyond us
an immortal gold
that blue shades
& red knights
burning into whites
the eternal, royal forms
composed & composite & opposite
O say—can you sing a quickening, par la vie
the way mistletoe in thickening sleeves a branch
where beauty eats beauty and where
no tree warms in any morality such ritenesses
the way its left me at morning so leafless & blue-treed, a
crux fixation
neither dark & servile nor whitened
nor just, nor liberally sieved. The grand silver blues me new the
yearless year radiant in white while the old season of mistletoe
preferences in the same hour a flavor for the
ancient parasite devouring its own soul's skin—
the haunted blood flows. It claims in wrongdoing what innocence
lives no more morally superior than it lives thinned and dead
this stick
these shadows upon which the colours turn their heads
three ways and live radiant &
like a coat
beyond the slippery, blue-grey silence
what really lives wintered the way
winter in certainty and din gets fed
wintering white mid morning
hints of green

she was willing and she taught me
& the night's white grew in her like
mistletoe grows in-between
the white snow
the black branch
the red din
the blue ruffle
and i think now
of the cost and the worth in the story
needing some kind of wonder without words
some kind of living light behind the eyelid
clothed & enclosed in those blue-grey folds of organ—hers
that pleasure belonging soully to itself
though living ever more remotely to the north
of the northern most po(l)led

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