the wicked daughter

by Jerry Ratch


River, river, may I never recover or conceal my love, or ask for something lukewarm, or beg or steal. Yes maybe I was the wicked daughter (sometimes), yes I allowed what an affair had to offer, my flesh glimmering at the edge of mountains.


I had floods of emotion, I had speech, talk, shame searching the broken original soul with its primitive juices stirred, moved until now by the musk of your soul only. The air has its dark confessional, and I have mine. Hot is called raw by some, hate mixed with malice for others. I am only separated by this dark window of time from you, but you never feared the lovely or the lonely. The river resounds, the river echoes that had our youth. Nothing recovers from it or grows now. No blaze, no flame the pure look on, no sea foam for remembrance.


Before the ugly heart and ugly mind I am a plain nightmare, a thing of fog, an old star burned out at the center. My mad words may have the desert shining inside them, I admit. I am like the lamb of man soon finished, the singer hen suffering the unlaid egg, stupefied by the easy murmuring of twilight.


Flowers help me speak against want. We all need a trace of color to make the senses stand out, next to the edge of things, decided, dear, damn near mutiny for this love of ours. And look out for the eye also, because under its ivory and influence, unnecessary speech recedes into its dark hole, while the fox and the raven wheel on the cliff above, locked in their embrace of envy, glory and love.