The Poetry Project

Blithe Spirit

Rachel Galperin

My feet dip in and out of the water on the waves of emotion
My emotions feel old now, tired emotions like tired clothing
Out of date and used and needing to be refurbished and so I do just that
I wind them up and squeeze them out and make them new

I hoard them away but not too far away, they’re still right on the surface
But now I find I don’t need them like I used to
In some ways being isolated makes dealing with yourself much easier
There’s no one else to suffer with but you
Even though everyone else is suffering just the same as you are

You’re the only one here - having dived into the wreck, what else is there to dive into now
And exploring the sea feels excellent and wild
A new unexplored terrain, featuring the wealth found beneath the water’s surface
Most diver’s don’t come across - I have and I know you have and now
We can share these unusual findings with the world and reemerge from the sea
Brand new having escaped the net which traps all mermaids

I saw there was no longer a prince ruling under the ocean. I saw the ocean as vast and
Sharp as a glass eye, sitting and waiting but somehow seeing nothing
Touching is more of the oceans expertise and the abyss within is treasure
We are rarely given permission to see with our naked eyes

We are rarely ever naked in front of others anymore when so long ago nudity was
An absolute you could count on without fear of loss of self or fear, of becoming joined with another
Until this morning my mother thought ’rising sign’ was ‘rising sun’, clearly
Having no knowledge of astrology she says I thought it was like
The sun rising every day, the sun does rise every day you know

This I do know and it feels wild and tender and true and careful and magnificent
This rising of summer of heat of gold of long endless days
And short squeamish nights which we try to ignore
Yet there are maps - not only of our bodies - but
Of the world which point out our imperfections

For instance, a friend pointed out a map of the world that showed
countries in which homosexuality was illegal
Where one can still be persecuted, jailed, killed for homosexuality
I try not to think of this - only in the summer’s darkness
In the untouched substance that leaks out or when
I am asleep. There is much time to sleep now and

On the grass where I like to lie and let the sun burn me
The heat of it feels radiating, a missing warmth that has
Come back to me. The calling of a lover that brushes by,
The images of imaginary lovers I call my own but are only mine in my mind’s eye
The devil sleeps and I am awake. Gemini and Scorpio are
The two most misinterpreted signs

Mother seemed to worry this morning when I told her her rising sun was in Gemini
She frequently worries that something is either bad or good and she asked me to describe
The sign and what it means. I did to which she was satisfied
What is satisfying to me may not be satisfying to you
For I am my own person, once and for all
Taking such comfort from the presence of my own body
My own masculinity
My own femininity
My own blithe wakening spirit emerging from the places it has been hidden
Which inevitably invokes an outcry of ecstasy and passion
I am pleasing to myself and only to myself

Work from “To hear all the sky and the map”: Lines of Mapping