Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rift Valley Near Grindavik (Iceland)

Play the podcast (downloadable mp3 file)

Sea-floor spreading
benign term, not at all like you are --
steaming, sulfurous, eyes watering exotic; and now
my blood an alchemical ooze, primordial with desire

this fissure, this great tectonic meltdown --
these are the emotions I prayed had cooled;
magmatic is how I used to describe my fears –
or at the very least, you –
before I burst into flame

Keflavik Peninsula - Mid-Atlantic Rift - photo by Susan Smith Nash

see the sheep shambling about
in these thin valleys
hooves sharp and destructive,
the last time we were together

Yes, it’s my own fault --
I let you rip up the young shoots; the green
is irretrievably gone; I’m left to
devour my own dreams in endless day --
a day that long ago inverted my nights

my molten soul likewise bubbles to the surface;
its steam affronts me with the set of gestures we call “law”
perhaps better physical
than metaphors built of ink

inject justice into a fracture
say it’s scientific,
and no one will inquire
about the tears on your face

as for me,
plunge me into a hot, subterranean fracture
into that ugly, hot zone
where you keep your secrets

where I beg for fire
before darkness overtakes me
as I recall our last moments together --
steam is dawn’s fair streak of forever

more sea water transported in dark pipes-
brine injected into the chamber
traveling long distances

burn me again
with futile magic;
the storm surge brings
such glacial equanimity

harkening deformation,
or a spare solid loop of rock
of rough, flesh-ripping basalt--

talk to me, dear
spawn of fire devils – or gods –
I am lichen chemically nourished by bare rock;
you’re gone

in the rift valley, a bridge claims to span the two continents-
it is a photo-op
and simultaneously a fiction
like my eyes, an unreal shade of gray…

the midnight sun is soft
like memory skin --
I slip, I fall down
my childhood boils up
sulphurous, mineral-rich, catalyzing fear and bravery;

and if you were here;
the solution would thicken, mineral-rich
altering every molecule it touches
leaving behind crystals
and magic --

if you were here --
I would be .... too.