Midnight is a Beautiful Curse
BY DORIANNE LAUX
Blue water in a pond goes black, spills
down the gutter like a vine, its mineral
smell, its splash of black pearls.
The moon is a silver spoon sunk
in the galaxy’s cold soup. I don’t know
where the light ends and I begin.
When I sleep I’m a vulture, my bald
red head slick in the belly of a deer,
my eyelashes lit with gore, my dark mouth
done with kissing. I unwind its power
with my beak, devour its unborn
into eternity, disappear its entrails
from a bed of acorns and pine needles.
When I wake I turn back into a scientist,
looking for the intersection
between my heart and my hunger.
If we understood the beauty of the world
we would curse it, let it eat us alive
if we let it, the hidden music
inside us measured out like a necklace
of bones, alleys we cultivate
in the quiet, the hidden life that grows
without light: mushrooms and mold,
spider plants and snake plants, dracaena,
the delicate, narrow, many-leaved fronds
of the maidenhead fern, turning
in the dark on its thin black stalk.