Chavisa Woods

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June, 2011

For Ochun

it begins with the opening of eyes


to see something is to be separate from it so we open our eyes to the world

a woman in a yellow dress

cradles an  infant of moss


as I critique myself the words are erased before me


many of the words that stay even are words of erasure


to look at a thing squarely is to begin to     erase the periphery


of what contains                       it



art is an act of isolation



of isolating an object



But. That. Is.


so pompous


all communication is a continuous act of isolation



you ask me simple questions

            “where did we make it wrong?”


            to explain myself in a manner that makes life livable            


            you hand me banal statements like an urn to compose my loss

                                                                        “I don’t know what happened… this is life

what do you want?”      these are the common words you say and yet they look so unbelievable written down.



I need to explain clearly what about life is so impossible to live:


            but what is so impossible to live is most

                        often the ability to explain





and, I see again, I was wrong, as usual


            it begins with the opening of eyes



an infant of moss cradles a woman


that is where I am. that is right.

            to look is to be separate


but it does not begin with the opening of eyes


no, but

          torn out from another


it begins with


            a bawling, a wretched yelp


and then the opening of eyes


that look to what         (has torn us)


these last years

I must say,

I have lived in you looking out through your eyes


is most impossible

            the insistence of life, like


lifelike- the replica

of the woman looking on without affection


a newborn’s cry         always sounds absurd, is difficult to replicate, but easily recognized


as the most banal, like “the insistence of life”like


as         inevitably        the thing that it is


            most of the words spoken daily by people are simple ones


                                    clear ones


                                                small ones,                               common ones


and I dare say,                        honest





it begins with


            a bawling, a wretched yelp


but not true

                        like that first absurdity


            ( insistence of life                    as        inevitably        the thing that it is)

 truth is very different than honesty





an infant of moss devours a yellow woman

            -------------      -----------



honesty can be spoken


the truth is unspeakable












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