after Sueyeun Juliette Lee
I know now: the light I wanted lives at the edge of the ocean, light
waits for me on the waves I drove to grieving – it simmers, constructs
grief replacement. I store it for next time, because there’s always a
lightless next time. Grief can be light, permanent noon, but I take the good light
with me now — can you see it in the bulbs of my eyes? I know light isn’t
ultimate – it will not remove everything, it will not reverse death. I go to water to find
light – cold of water and hot of light touch the cells of my body & they negotiate temperature:
Body touches water touches light touches body, light makes body
a new body, closer to the old body. If this is what the light can do,
I understand why it remains here with the ocean, I know why I cannot have it always,
it becomes a destination – does this mean destiny + nation? When you arrive
and there is light, is it a destined nation? I choose this place each time,
collect what I can to take but cannot carry it all, I leave some
light at the ocean, at my destined nation, I bury grief
at the sand in its perfect seam.
I go to the water in search of myself
and when I arrive at the water,
I can quietly harvest the light.
I take only what I need of the light
no matter how long since I’ve had it,
no matter what I need or hope to find.
The light and water present a diagram:
this is how we work together,
they say. The light finds the spaces
where my bones meet.
The light is inside my bones shows
through my skin. The water is
pulsing through my heart.
On the diagram, my body,
the water, and the light are all different colors.
The light is blue like the water. The water
is red like my body. The body is
an outline, approaching the water
to take the light.
Whenever I find myself –
Whenever I get to the water –
Whenever I find myself at the water –
How much pressure needs to be exerted?
after Judy Grahn
enough for it to all burst
or: tension has to be spent
or: I have to trust this devotion
or: the fires needs to go somewhere
or: my wandering heart should finally still
or: on my very last birthday I’ll know right away
or: someone has to hear all of our feral screaming
or: my poetry has to go outside of this room to its own
or: my poetry has to go somewhere poetry has never been
or: the water should seep into the very foundation of this arid dream
or: my dreams should mean more to someone who hears them than to me
or: we have to reconcile death as someone a woman can talk to and live to name
or: i have to stop being so afraid of death and instead talk and talk to it in circles someday
or: the pressure should be caught in bared teeth, wound around the knowing feminine tongues
Mariah Bosch is a Chicana poet from Fresno, CA. She attends the MFA program there, where she works with Juan Felipe Herrera as a graduate fellow in his Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio. Her work can be found in Cosmonauts Avenue, Peach Magazine, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere.