Bones, Singing Gods, and the Felt Meadows

Jonathan Barrett

You used to walk here,

at the edge of the woods

listening to lyre and lute

waiting for him to find you

hiding amid tree-shadows

and shallow undergrowth.

You used to tell him

dawn in spring was like a singing god –

that each unfolding moment

was asleep in your mind,

that the song the gods sang

closed palpable distances

You used to write

on skin and veiled vein,

line after line looking

for the soft girth of meaning;

perhaps a lyric composed in darkness,

your words disguised as a whiff of wind

for leading him to your bones.

He said he would not rest

until he saw your bones:

those raw bits

laying in leaves, lingering

in felt meadows.

And you’re still waiting

waiting for the singing gods to raise your bones

from the felt meadows, still waiting

for him to cross

impassable rivers

to assemble your dislocated soul, still waiting

for him to carry

the weight of your body

as part of his own.

                                        after Rainer Maria Rilke