Jul/Aug 2012 Poetry

Two Poems

by Ruth Ann Baumann


The first & only time you were eight
you remember remembering being seven
& the religious fear that filled you
when you realized, growing up means
dying. Even worse than dying,
forgetting. If you were previously made of streamers
now you alternated between thumbtacks &
gelatin. Around this time the sky birthed guilt
& it rained into your bones every day
sweet. Good morning, thing I will carry the rest of my life,
you should have said when the thing
that made you part of yourself, childhood-altering thing
all childhoods run temple-first into, first
smarted. But you didn't know any better
than to assume life was a series of events
that moved, that didn't get stuck on each other
& stretch forwards & backwards: but the brain
is a piece of taffy on a fork, the brain
your brain is a simple concoction of sugars & time,
& you are not always your brain.
The last & only time you were eight
you became nine.


Rapunzel Searches

a large spiderweb of un-knowledge
around and kill
whatever flies near. Now

So, Rapunzel fell in love with amnesia.
She read every book on the subject,
and then re-read them, backwards,
with the dream of a kindred forgetfulness,
a kindred non-knowing of
surrounding Rapunzel like
a heavy air, rocks forming
where dew should be, a hard
coarse blanket of
no-ness. No I am not
from here. No I am not
anywhere. No.

Summer: Her hair
growing out again, she felt it tickle
across the tops of her shoulder blades.
There was not a single brain in a single head
near her that understood.
Her last eighteen years, a small,
sleek, albino sparrow
in a dark graveyard.


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