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WILL SHE VISIT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN? (WHAT ANIMAL WILL I BE?)
ErinConnery

No sooner had she said it she was almost completely
 1
undressed, and I trembled inside, feeling the love secure
 2
itself in my breast. I told her to tell me she loved me.
 3
 
 
She’d look at the dumb cow tired and lonely.
 4
'I'd like to touch you,' I said again
 5
She was looking at the dumb cow.
 6
'I'd like to touch you,' I said again
 7
 
 
Trying to start again with the woman that is gone
 8
no sooner had she fogged the window than that old fellow
 9
chained my gear to the north side of the mountain
 10
and said farewell.
 11
 
 
And all around him are Humans, Humans, Humans!
 12
Where are the animals?
 13
To run in, to cultivate, To beckon a fawn from the earth,
 14
To raise newborn cattle, Who shall be their mother?
 15
 
 
When She returns,
 16
Will She ever learn of the things I love
 17
Will She ever know herself?  
 18
 
 
Otherwise, mornings would not be so madly fine.
 19
I smile and look towards God and say ‘Fuck you’ for nothing.
 20
Thanks for everything.
 21
 
 
I stole her notebook on her way out,
 22
and my hungry eyes met the pages.
 23
There was nothing, but a blank stare
 24
For she had written one little giddy line,
 25
Nothing else was there.
 26
 
 
And so I headed to that side of the mountain, an axe in my hand
 27
to chop far away into the black dawn
 28
I will fill
 29
the winter’s barn before the snow comes on.
 30
 
 
Meeting secretly with the ghosts.
 31
Wall castle, stone.
 32
Walling myself with
 33
Animals of the farm.
 34
 
 
The crow does not sing,
 35
but he is smart and proclaims:
 36
On this road,
 37
On this winter morning
 38
Alone, is a dead rabbit.
 39
The walking back was the arriving.
 40
The walking back was to be the arriving.
 41
And true love would be found different, again.
 42
 
 
Are you crying? She asked.
 43
The wind, my eye, my reply.
 44
 
 
Caw, Caw, Caw.
 45
 
 
I wrote her a letter. She came.
 46
She called my name and I did not respond.
 47
I was a coward.
 48
 
 
She walks through my field in her Spring light,
 49
Well dressed and walking on her heels, hovering her over the plowed land,
 50
Maybe she’ll be happy enough to dance,
 51
Heel-toe, Heel-toe, hopping like a crow,
 52
No, no. Like a Foe.
 53
 
 
If she looks for me, truly looks, or if she is only here to remember, will I be there?
 54
I will have put on my rain boots and Begun to breathe the thin November air
 55
Stepping over the root into the wood that murders
 56
of crows caw over and like carefully walk
 57
into after a heavy storm.
 58
 
 
She may pause at my house, but I will not be there.
 59
And peer in the windows,
 60
She may not come at all.
 61
 
 
But if She does She will look different
 62
And a little row boat with a fine looking man will float—in the air,
 63
Silently pulling its oars as I squawk madly (I will be there)
 64
And she boards the ship, and pulls away from the woods.
 65
 
 
I go and milk the cow, thinking of all the years of sorrow still to come.
 66
 
 
Naked except for a cow bell and a patty of shit stuck to my ass
 67
I told her
 68
to tell me
 69
she loved me.
 70
 
 
If I wrote her, asking once to cross into my new homestead,
 71
What chance would we have?
 72
 
 
If she makes me cry, without knowing it,
 73
And I never speak,
 74
What chance do we have?
 75
 
 
I am replying “Yes, Yes” to questions of my own
 76
But the heart is different;
 77
It never forgets the pines with the moon rising behind them, within them.
 78
Again and again I swing the axe.
 79
 
 
As my heart visits her in its own memory,
 80
while all else disappears, and she remains.
 81
Let me remember it wrong.
 82
I’ll stop remembering it wrong.
 83
Her almond eyes, Her giddy line so singular, so strong.
 84
 
 
I’ll teach her how to fly
 85
fish. She always wanted me to do that.
 86
 
 
And when she finally goes,
 87
Will I marry a fawn, a fox, or a foal?
 88

15 Apr 07

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Comments:

This is ambitious. I haven't seen anything remotely like it. I'd love to interview the author.

Line 55: Began should be Begun

I am curious to know what that
one giddy line was.

I am gobsmacked.
 — banditfemme

Erin is good poet.
 — unknown

the axe did it for me and
woods that murder and the self
talk and the fly
fishing.

i love your poem.
 — jumpoline

To me, this is a short story broken into poetry.

I liked the story, however.
 — Rixes

the second stanza gave me an orgasm. actually, it really inspired me. i am going to steal bits of the second stanza and store them in my memory to be resurrected in a different form at another time. is that okay? it'd better be, because i've already stolen it.


i didn't read the rest of the poem.
 — OKcomputer

so good i paused, knowing that this would be my only opportunity to read it for the first time.
 — gnormal

where i do start...

She walks through my field in her Spring light,  49
Well dressed and walking on her heels, hovering her over the plowed land,  50
Maybe she’ll be happy enough to dance,  51
Heel-toe, Heel-toe, hopping like a crow,  52
No, no. Like a Foe.

well, well, ....
done.
 — gnormal

If she looks for me, truly looks, or if she is only here to remember, will I be there?  54
I will have put on my rain boots and Begun to breathe the thin November air  55

you will part your hair behind and dare
to eat a peach and wear
white flannel trousers and walk
upon the beach.
 — gnormal

Are you crying? She asked.  43
The wind, my eye, my reply.

better than
aspirin.
 — gnormal

you handle, it may be said, fucking dynamite words with deft experience, insulating fucking them well and safely.

it's a great example you set.

in doing so, it's another great example of courage and surefootedness.
i have never before used that word.  thanks!
 — gnormal

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