Poetry Porch: Poetry


Seven Tongues of God
by Fred Marchant

My first time, my friend said, nothing will change,
        everything will be the same, including myself,
                only more so.

I understood it to be what it is, an acid, an ergot derivative,
        a must, a blight on a rotten berry,
                a nausea in apparition,

but it feels like tripod molecules have landed on the moon,
        the cells applauding, while that marvel,
                the lacey architecture

of reason is melting down to goose-fat, to tendons and nerves
        with marrow-rich sockets of feeling
                which stretch out

like a sleek animal lodged under the skin. My heart is
        trotting like a tall horse under a tall rider,
                withers trembling

at the breeches and crop of aristocracy. The self I know
        has elided into the terrors of the dwarfed
                as it leaps the wall,

and crashes through leaves, stands stock still, not
        even breathing. Shadows lick at
                its shoulders.

The cicadas sound like a cry for help, a plea for life,
        a life I have just begun to love,
                only more so.

Copyright © 2000 by Fred Marchant.
From Full Moon Boat, Graywolf Press.