Jane Mead

The High Hither, The Embrace


The stairs to the marketplace where we were
all going to speak the same language—were littered
with the elaborate cruelties of history,

the injustice of water, the shed and chasm
side by side. The stairs to the experiment
in which I meant to convince you we spoke

the same language—were our unleashing: Aroused
I burnt my hands in mulch and manure—
a dream in prose in which I'm trying to miss you.

But history will have none of this, as far back
as I can hear it: The mud-flats usher in
tadpoles and onion grass: the sweet, sweet earth

arouse—The Empire ushers in flesh:
The high hither: The you: The embrace:


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