Cynthia Cruz is the author of Ruin, which was published in 2006 by Alice James Books. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, and others. Her second collection is forthcoming from Four Way Books. She currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and is the Visiting Writer at the Rutgers-Newark MFA Program in Creative Writing. In the fall of 2010 she will be the Hodder Fellow in poetry.
Love, they are taking me now.
Down, to the darker, ward-like stations.
It is German, here, in its warp
Of children’s murmurs and voices.
For Holiday Pageant, mother made me
Haloed, angel, wrapped me in iridescence.
Led me to the hay-flocked stage,
My face, pale as a moon,
My grey eyes star into the white flash
Of her red Sears Roebuck camera.
I am inside my own Berlin,
1985, with its White Duke,
Its zoo, and androgynous.
They are following me, calling me names
In German. Like you, I am
Incapable of interpreting my own body,
Its soulless and mollusk iterations.
In the end, I will put a stop to it.
I want to hear the voice speak to me, again.
In a forest, near the border, where Lowell
Went missing after the sanitarium.
On the lake, Bodensee, alone, and with music.
Out of nowhere, a drown of music,
Probably dead or else, Bohemian.
What gorgeous, and out of nowhere.
And glittering. A silver waste, a warm
Unknown paste of pearl
And jewels. Some small foods.
It’s true. I lose
My mind, but I get
This, instead. What appears,
Warm, like a dream
This train, and humming
Windows of glass emerald.
When the singing begins,
I step over the silver
Wheels, and drop down
Into the music,
A secret entering the body.
Or summer, southern, at dusk.
Black strap Molasses, slow
Thick, a ticking
In the velvet.
An internal mars,
A sweet swamp, electric
A flicker at first, then lost.
Blinding and blue
This God like narcotic--
THE UNHEARD MUSIC
Cream sleeveless leotards with mauve
Prada stockings in the underwater
End of the world
Hospital party: Sarah’s
Thirty first birthday
In the locked refectory.
A long sheet of white
Cake, orange and pink frosting flowers,
Candles, and no one
Knows where Sarah’s
Gone. In the exercise room
Riding the stationery bike
For hours until finally
Her broken body
Gives out. In a far room,
Someone’s playing Iggy Pop’s
The Passenger. This drunken
Boat, cargo of souls. In cotton
Gowns, barefoot, we
Smoke, watch the train of the world
Race by us. The boys here
Are beautiful. But sad.
Drugged, they slumber
In their dorm rooms
For weeks on end, wander
The never ending halls, murmuring.
God, drop your studded overcoat
Of stars over us.
Let tomorrow’s warm dust
What else can we do.
They’ve removed the music out of us.