Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Shape of Longing

artwork: ralph murre

The Shape of Longing 
by Jeanie Tomasko

it wants to be a bird with two wrong wings
it wants to be
     uneven, it yearns

to be hollow
a little place to put your wadded prayers

the shape of longing stops you
every time is something you know that you know
is gnarled and winter
                             and white as January

the shape of this is white
                              is the voice that comes
from your small right rib
from the place that makes the wind and salt
                              if there is

a place only light has been,

it is, returning to you
                              undiminished, overdue

it is not mendable, this, your almost,
your leaden, your irregular
rowboat, small skiff, bent wing

this, your perfect translation of homesickness, of swimming
your lonely, your only, your umbra

your longest scar, your certain,
your silent, your first

singular and sternal, it is
                               the shape
of all you asked for, you and your simple
                               mad, breathless heart

~ previously published in Sharp as Want (Little Eagle Press)