For you I undress down to the sheaths of my nerves.
I remove my jewelry and set it on the nightstand,
I unhook my ribs, spread my lungs flat on a chair.
I dissolve like a remedy in water, in wine.
I spill without staining, and leave without stirring the air.
I do it for love. For love, I disappear.
By Pamela Spiro Wagner
First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.
Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.
To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.
Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.
Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.
When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
and don’t even notice,
close this manual.
You can now read poetry.
after Rilke’s Herbsttag
Time, it is time.
Summer has been
Go ahead, Fall:
shrink down the days
and sugar the grapes
for late-harvest wine.
Anyone still unknown
to herself will stay,
probably, that way.
Anyone unlinked by love
will be love-
up and down
up and down,
restless as leaf-bits
and papers in the street.
crickets listen with our legs and
when we survive
all at once
toward the light, skimming
rivers, singing our heartbeat
aloud. We vibrate
our bodies to wake the night. It is either love
We do not stop to eat. The dust settles over us.
We hear each other for miles, and never meet.
at your wordlessness. What
are you thinking when you look like that?
We do not belong to the other
except now and again intermittently.
Of that infinity, freely
you give yourself to me to take
and I take freely. Sandra Cisneros, from “Los Desnudos: A Triptych,” Loose Woman: Poems (via lifeinpoetry)