Reading Szymborska at Friday Harbor
after Aria Aber
Do I want more music from language?
Curled into myself against a floor-to-ceiling window,
I laugh about the Yeti poem, cry over her 1996 speech —
Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous
‘I don’t know.’ I read it in English.
In Polish school, I did not like her work.
I did not want to admit how much I don’t know.
How many fields of oil burning. The everlasting
snow, melting. I’m watching an eagle
perched for the hunt, white-headed metronome.
Rapt, still I ask for song. Unspooling
in sound. How can I trust myself
when I am so seduced by beauty?
Scenic lookout, hot women on instagram, denim
sky, muscle of petals. I am not singing,
says the eagle. A tired roar crowds my mouth.
When we drive down Sweet Pea Lane, Gabby says
so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. I write it down.
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