Winter, 2005

Louise Nayer

Two Poems 

She Is Named Goddess in a Fitful Night

And they bow to her,
walk for miles in the dry heat
to see her eyes.
Each day they lose their shine,
become transparent.

Her husband sees her height as tragedy.

He has touched her body
and enters the crowd like a wild man.
Their eyes meet
and for a moment he has her again.

She wants to reach out to him but cannot.

He convinces her to run away.
At midnight, with a few belongings,
they walk toward the sea
where an old fisherman will take them away.
It is windy,
and the sand blows in her face.
Her eyes are shining now
and he holds her hand.
She feels his fingers around hers,
feels the weight of his body.
She starts to walk slower.
He holds her hand tighter,
pulls her toward the dock.
Then her hand loses its grip.
She lets her hair down to her ankles
and starts dancing in circles

and he cannot get to her.

Her hair down and the wind
and that strange look in her eyes--
Goddess, she chants
in the dead quiet by the sea.


A wagon carries
A witch into the gardens.

Like Houdini
she is neither
dead nor alive
but obedient
to the flowers.

Under the blinding sun
she stirs
in all her hidden powers.
People turn away
from her source.

Then a girl
the cathedral
of her strength
and watches

as the witch becomes
a leather coat,
stale bread,
a hanger,
an old shoe.

The girl
steps forward,
in the transformations,
in the smell of flowers,

and caught in the yearning
to be transparent,
so the whole world
can walk through her.