this much i know

I wrote this poem July 17, 1998, and have titled, untitled, and re-titled it over the years.

This much I know
that in the days before you came,
I slept long, languid hours
drifting in and out of sleep while unseen familiar forces worked mightily
that my DNA wordlessly reorganized
that my psyche laid weather satellite maps over my flesh like a grid of divinity
that thunder rolled across the drought of my plains and I danced hiphop with Jesus Herself in a withering cornfield
that in my dreams a woman lit up a cigarette inside my front room and I said, “Oh  no, you can’t do that here!”

I know this much
that I snorted and whinnied like a thoroughbred in a too-small stall
that my legs ached from being folded too close against my underside,
that I needed to run for miles along that very edge where the water rises up like tendriled fingers to stroke the sand
that long wisps of hair needed to snap to attention on the valley sweep along the back of my neck and then fall to ease
that the gleam in my eye burned so hot that it frightened those who dared to look
that I couldn’t stop touching my own skin and then suddenly – without warning –
I couldn’t bear not to touch yours.

I know now
that Ayn wants me to be selfish at least as much as I want to be selfish myself
that I was soaked in a sea of mediocrity that could never take me under
that I too could stand in judgment and proclaim, “This I do not sanction!”
that the highest value unfurls the deepest doubt
that Camille snuck out in the night to pry wet clay away from the Mother’s bosom with her fingernails,
that she freed people from eternal entombment in the white rocks
that she penetrated his armor before falling on her own scimitar
that I can window shop my soul with eyes crossed like raised swords before you
and find myself in the glare of cold hard steel.

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