Song

by Rhina Espaillat

From hair to horse to house to rose,
her tongue unfastened like her gait,
her gaze, her guise, her ghost, she goes.

She cannot name the thing she knows,
word and its image will not mate.
From hair to horse to house to rose

there is a circle will not close.
She babbles to her dinner plate.
All gaze and gaunt as ghost she goes—

smiling at these, frowning at those,
smoothing the air to make it straight—
from hair to horse to house to rose.

She settles in a thoughtful pose
as if she understood her fate,
her face, her gaze, her ghost. She goes

downstream relentlessly, she flows
where dark forgiving waters wait.
From hair to horse to house to rose,
her gaze, her guise, her ghost, she goes.

“Song” previously appeared in Where Horizons Go.


A   A   A