Caesurae; Hearsay; Susurrus

Rae Gouirand


The moon is half: an emergency
I am: the madeleine in shadow

invoked but not enveloped: born
with blue eyes my color

redoubled: a guessed-at form with
an opal in her throat. I was

told the scratch would close but
on the cliff of this tongue

opening on knowing: scores rise
to one corona. But were

mountain flowers still inside me
spitting filigree: were these

holes fact and not space between:
a chain of annotations for

spark and finish: the line of salt
a diary: I need no pale word


My friend explains a tense
in her native tongue reserved: for

hearsay: for what has passed
that you didn’t yourself witness but

pass in speaking: we mistake
hands & leaves picking the last

grapes & grapes gone to raisin
under September moon: asking if

there are circumstances when
it’s best to keep yourself in: here’s

another: these have dried around
their seeds and glow: now fingerprints

on fruit skin: not a far color
from the stains we wake to find but

sticky sweet still: is it better
to be understood or to be loved


Some things are true & diffuse:
white in the sea, in the thrashing:

in the horizon opening over
the wind we squint against &

knuckles aching. The same white
sea the whites of our eyes: snow

follows I don’t: want to believe
there’s nothing left now to open.

I want to bare my throat: the most
personal of the personal: things

we watch for the end: or a means
some invisibility: this is how to

make a line toward something.
Come from it every moment:

again: winter unsaid winter
unending. What risk is there

in quiet space: the white I
need it. I open an envelope.

A friend illustrates five ways.
The figures wine on white paper.

I put it on my wall. Light flashes
back out: we’ll wake in the crack

between never and now: hum in
bone: hold so things will come.

No one can explain the dawn:
the air paused & time elapsing.

What winter isn’t open: always:
what isn’t open that is: always

I breathe the air outside my chest
& whirl & fill & the day quiets

a quiet space sometimes: you
can only whisper to yourself

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