another daydream

another daydream

Friday, February 8, 2019

"Audition" (with apologies to Gerard Manley Hopkins)


On stage, at the boys’ military academy,
I will recite while seated in my uniform:
white collared shirt tucked into leaf green skirt,
matching green socks stretched thin from tugging,
and brown buckle shoes. I press my knees together
for integrity.

The poem of my choice is “Carrion Comfort”
which I have never uttered aloud. Gambling on
the intonation of “thy wring-world right foot rock?”
my voice is a filly cantering on a carousel,
stuck in the whirl of an incessant organist.

Rows of boys I have looked at fleetingly, and
a cadre of girls who have something to assert––
like buoyant breasts or popularity––watch me read.
“Scan with darksome devouring eyes my bruis├Ęd bones?”
I’m losing my chance at the high school play.

Feeling queasy, uneasy––“me heaped there;
me frantic to avoid thee and flee?”
––as the final phrase disbands in dismay, 
“I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.”