- Scar Two, and: Scar Six
Today I catch sight of the scar my studentpulls the cuff of her sleeve to conceal,and she answers a look I did not knowI gave her. I was, she tells me, workingthrough some issues, and she hands mea poem. I'm so sorry, I say, speakingfor a mystery. I want to say more.Then less. I am pulling at a sleeveof my own. It's fine, she says. Writinghelps. And so I read, I cut. I question.How deep is too deep. I do not know.Is the knife still there. Does it moveas the eye moves, asleep, the page gone dark,the lid in shivers. Asking to be raised. [End Page 323]
I have a friend who saw things and wrotethem down for no one in particular,so furious and desperate the pagesof her poems caught fire. Each nightin a turkey roaster. She made sure.She turned her work over to the cinders.It helped. I cannot say I understand.Slowly she got better. All the best poems,she said, turn to ashes. Sooner or later.All the best dreams burn the fuel of day.Of course, there was a note of grief in that.Heard or imagined. There was a hole,full of echoes. And it broke her cryinto ever smaller, more merciful cries. [End Page 324]
Bruce Bond is the author of more than twenty books, most recently Words Written Against the Walls of the City. His collection Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems, 1997–2015 won the L. E. Phillabaum Poetry Award, and Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods received an Elixir Press Poetry Award.