The Hand On The Head Of Lazarus
Jan. 16, 2011
Snow is falling and falling here,
like deep sleep, like pillows, geese. I'm eating
bloody bread and confectioner's sugar, walking in snow,
getting ready to sleep throughout the summer.
Let's meet - you said that once before. I slept beside you long ago
when my eyes were opened inside my mama and I was
a Shirley Temple doll who never got tired from walking
too far. My eyelashes were like caterpillars.
Uakari monkeys climbed my spine and barked like dogs,
their plaintive hands pressed against the glass
of their cage at the zoo. Their dark hands crushed
my snowy cheeks.
The doctor listens to my heart the way a lover
should. Heal me, kill me, all my parts are breaking down.
Someone's throwing salt out on the snow. All of us
are trapped somewhere - in the bag of a Eureka
vacuum cleaner or against the artificial mountains
at the zoo. Rising from water like the largest walrus,
baring our teeth, our elbows awkward, like the joints of bats.
Just returned from Black Africa after 75 years in the most remote
tundra and sick with all the climate changes.
Meet me as a doctor would. Snow is falling and falling
here. Both of us have been ill somewhere, maybe with me
it was the time I got lost way down inside her stomach,
crawling through intestines, dark passages, expecting
escalators and elevators to rescue me. Sex is meat and bloody sleep.
Meet me like an animal, kindly. The elephants open their mouths
so very widely, their tusks are made of sugar and will surely melt.
My eyes were opened once before. I hibernated for 16 years
and got straight A's on my report card but never snatched up
the bait, the pay-off. Your letters ripped my heart like claws.
Stethoscopes and bathospheres. My voice is a wound. Cats eat birds
but for their claws and feathers strewn across the floor.
At night I puff up like a python. Ida Lupino was a living doll.
Join me when the winter's over, Elmer's glue and ligaments,
tendons pulling back our mouths. Cut me as a surgeon could,
zones of weather, four distinct seasons, all the corresponding
sexual lines. With you it might have been the time that it was
raining trillions of lizards and geese were trying to fly back
to where they were before. Seals breed along my veins,
my words are slick, the alphabet's tricky. I find myself falling
like the snow. Surround me as you have before, eat me,
swim me like a river. Heal me.
Christina Zawadiwsky is Ukrainian-American, born in New York City, has a degree in Fine Arts, and is a poet, artist, journalist and TV producer. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Award, two Wisconsin Arts Boards Awards, a Co-Ordinating Council of Literary Magazines Writers Award, and an Art Futures Award, among other honors. She was the originator and producer of Where The Waters Meet, a local TV series created to facilitate the voices of artists of all genres in the media, for which she won two national and twenty local awards, including a Commitment to Community Television Award. She is also a contributing editor to the annual Pushcart Prize Anthology, the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, and has published four books of poetry, The World At Large, Kissing The Murderer, Sleeping With The Enemy and The Hand On The head Of Lazarus. She currently reviews movies for HYPERLINK "http://www.moviescribes.com/" http://www.moviescribes.com , music for HYPERLINK "http://www.musicroomreviews.com/" http://www.musicroomreviews.com , and books for HYPERLINK "http://www.bookroomreviews.com/" http://www.bookroomreviews.com .