Ray Osborn

To the Girl in Black


child like stutters or the softvociferous knots in and
dove-sound, either way sheabout my bodily strings
is left alone with stale light:I won’t write that
do I drain the roomI have folded in
of animaupon
or do the bulbs runmyself feeling it, it
on meat,runs
on me just purely?like lightning in me;
tennis ball sized shocks ofwe have no idea whose baby it was,
socket colored locks in sun.where the screams had come from,
these birds wear a name:we want to do something for them
chickadeesomething like an elegy
To the sweetnessesyou make…
I have nothing to odeme want to
but a skin valise fillsadmit: earthy
with suffering tallow,and so some
remember how she grew?see as slight
But it would not be a scar-ly deranged
until salt spindles are soft;luv
a new perch in her ovary,tnx
some place, not the card sending nox
but the inner and outer unfoldingyou,
in a moment unwound in a doubtthe cargo of nether regions
though some thermostat will heatcrumbling in a sarcastic joy
the haptic pleasures in her, homeor was it a pseudo sarcasm,
haptic, for all the tenderest strokein either case it was joy, oak
poetry is still just an orange’s rind[ she, satisfied, supine ]
left out after the revels of the night{ more or less delight }
musica birthing folding blooming and set off by the
mustacherivulets of warmed bath water where my toes
matterremember the infinite seashell of “this is your
matriculatecolor” my holy religious friend as she was then
“to make an ending” “now?”all I can think about was
you would take me,               with you my clit being moved and
if your tones didn’t                           me and then i’m       panting, stapled in
rest enthroned, myor shall I say that I
curls, sunder, time,painted a picture instead
you might take but(this is a double portrait)
to love is too much( but no, leave the blue )
to love is too muchI love you two, two touch
while we were quietthis is a world
the sound of rainmade of broken lines
was loud on tinand the stems of flowers
and while itwhere waiting is abnormal
rainedand wanting comes on too soon:
reda perverse practice of companionship:
the worldthe meadow looks for a word
did notwhich I’ve found at her midriff
stiffen insurrounds by the garnet glint
strife,left over, from stars overhead:
not thenit makes me think that maybe
redI’m not as important, as I think,
the falls are less drafty than they are white,the small pool of black algae
minor chords are not as cosmic as they seem,is at the center of the grasses
and I am owed so much money it is absurd,shrouded in trees and dry but
I like the way the wind wishes,
whispers, whistles, washes away
on the corner screaming,the violet variations, away,
she died of asphyxiationradiations of violent song

Notes on the Text

1. Teal, Turquoise, and Quinacridone don’t show up in this elegy because those are where I stash my private moments. The poem cycle’s modules are etchings about our life while in mourning. It is a documentation and portrait of Lauren Beshara, her family, and myself as we mourn for the unnamed child.

2. Avarice doesn’t remind me of wrath, it vaguely reminds me of how I feel for Lauren (her situation seems something of the second), nor is it me and my work, this work of filing conjunctions and pretending to be a poet, saying “if I were a musician I might stem that sickly rose and stick it into my diary as a kind of aside or a vague index of notes on the text” but this is not what I want nor do I want a poetical type of prose. What I wanted was to make an ukase rejecting all of my macabre thoughts on my own selfish lost loves (The bluejay ate the chickadee like you to me, collecting seeds for thought and not worms, like I did once, trying to be William Blake, for which you criticized me, and I kept hearing your song in my head. “I won’t let you tell me I’m no good,” said the babe, and maybe that’s good but your ghost, unwanted, and unwanting, still chases yourself and me) but this didn’t happen. To convey our mourning I might use the word “luto,” which in Spanish means “mourning.” I think of her as an American who was once from Columbia, viscerally, and who might still return, eventually, her mother, Gloria, columbiana.

3. What I don’t want you to know is this: although mother and child never saw one another, they still live for the poet and for you, the reader. What I want you to know is this: a koan: a chant: a lullaby: I am a collection of crystal trinkets, you are a cosmos realigning satellites: I exist from light and refuse to move around you, the moon: I am longevity of imagination, you are organization of Nature: In this way, by creating a “Notes On The Text,” I am able to say everything I want to say, even if I have already said it, only having elided it in the primary text, “To The Girl In Black.”

4. If I could give the girl in black words, it would be these, “I won’t apologize for my self-central actions as there’s nothing else, and since to know one’s self, being the inherent life goal of all existence, how could I apologize for tearing you apart? In order to find what you took from me, I apologize for keeping you so far away from me, for the masks and intentional send-offs into the pit of black algae.”