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A History of Planetary Motion by Atom Ariola

A History of Planetary Motion by Atom Ariola

Poetry, Vol. 4.1, March 2010

We would do well this night
to remember
the blood the strength that began this life
song pulling amniotic
light inside those tissued shores,
where bones and pain find their way home
this night of placental dark
we would do well to remember its growth
you can hardly see

Among the bedrock and alluvial waters,
inside her, a kind of breathing still pushing out,
against the swelling of her body and the rusted gravity of morning―

we would do well this night to sing
the image of the mother,
to hold
in our teeth the rope the silence the soft wet sun
new flesh pushed out of the
place we all began split sky and storm

cedars blown flush against the hills

proteins folding and unfolding deep.

It’s not so hard
to see her, image of my mother, the spill of birthmilk around
rags catching the naked words
she threw back to the air in that blossom
of cells,

notice: stainless steel scissors, the table against the adobe wall,
blue pale of cold water, cotton blankets
frayed at the edges from too much wind, where midnight’s colors
ate through after those years.

Do you see the threads of birth pulled taut
in the birthroom at the top of the crooked stairs,
do you recognize the smell of death deep inside that life:
albumen, maeconium, prepuce, cuneiform,
say it again,
remember the sacred alphabets of the body,
cerumen, vulva, pelvis and thistled rose,
we would do well to keep going,
to cross the garden to where
the pear trees lean
and ask for nothing,
for shadows falling gently
back toward the turning earth.

Enough by Rebecca Cross

Millerstown, OH by Doug Cornett

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