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In the little shops and stores which have now vanished, somebody was always attacking anything and anybody, with constant tobacco thrusts that the virgin sawdust absorbed. Usually it was a distant President, who but for fate would have been the aproned figure fingering the register. In the big countries the little countries are always attacking each other every week in the foreign pages, and the prisons have shops where license plates are stamped and stores, where furniture is sold to tourists, whose motel rooms have color television predicting pacific weather, which is very nice. BARBARA MOORE DEMOLITION I am wounded In the straight sun. I have never been stronger. The flat, warm smell of the pavement Hits me between the eyes. I am strong In a hurt commotion— What is it? 56 Perhaps my sonWalking out of my bones across the grass, Walking out of my eyes into his darkness, Shreds of my flesh still clinging to him. I will not turn away From what prys me, Try again To pull out the infected Foot of the briar. The cellar window breaks— A rumble of blue glass. My grandmother waves from the laundry, White-armed, Happy among the stacked clothes, Uncrumpling much-crumpled linen. She is washing everything in lavender, Beating out the grease, The blood With steaming hands. Alone, Not aloneThe face of God the Father Bobs over the hedge. The nails in my shoes push through, I hop on one leg. Now a cloud of gnats Rises from the old peonies, Dives at my head without mercy. They are singing. It is my life, Overwhelming. Burrowing into every layer, Every weak place. The hands of my friends Crumbling In my hands. I advance Through shadow, A collapsing houseThe lies ripping out of my exposed sides, The griefs shooting out their exhausted wiresEverything falling awayAll the planks falling away In a crash of clean timber. ...


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pp. 56-57
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