Harriet Levin


Shake what you will,
the hands exert their touch.
Are any birds unnamed,

untamed, left to peck and spill?
Hills dictate hidden
valleys, human sorrow

stored there in earth,
layer and core.
Reaching into a fire

with tongs to extract iron
could demonstrate
how to shape the unyielding,

the anvil greased up
to withstand such thrashes,
the unshaped metal

massive and terrible.
There's a transfer point
where energy's exchanged

but it's invisible,
and we're prone to trespass it
like those salamanders,

red-backed, marbled, spotted
that come out a night
to burrow into logs

and feed on leaf litter.
Touch fires the need
for touch. I ask to be handled gently

and mirror my request
upon others. But what do I do
when the will is iron?

Inherent the method
for bonding kindness to cruelty
(the Maillart Bridges)

and traversing the steep ravine?
Euclidean blushes with poise and charm,
sun, moon, stars,

torches and chandeliers,
hang suspended
no matter in whose two hands

the morning fog is shaped,
—wind sweeping your hair across your face,
my hand brushing it back.



EPR #5:
Embodiment of a Passage
Survey of Debris


© 2003 Electronic Poetry Review