Canto X

This sea-grey-blue strip is broad, ripples glued in place

framing a creamy hardcover with black italian script,

and, 'CANTO X', heading all in capital letters.


I know it means 'ten',

but, instead, think of it as

'A Section of Poem, Unknown'.


Mostly blank, size and weight solid and comforting,

an undeniable presence

that has already become indispensable;

has borne the pressure of desperate, silent hands:

white-knuckled and seeking its support

while processing long listening,

questions asked aloud,

questions considered internally...

all, breaching walls old and deep.


I am tempted to name it...

yet, until I have filled it,

how can I know its title?


Where I take it

could change everything--

though I know I cannot go back,

I might go *on*.


I might book passage to a Geekery

zealous in their analysis of sensuality;

leaving only this daughter to study and play where she has made a home,

made friends,

made an understanding of herself

and a mother of me.


Or, I might wait even yet,

*despite* these boundaries

that I have finally cemented for myself

by insisting on self-definition:

'bold' only due to its opposition

to my conditioning to the contrary.


Stay, for there may yet be desires

that will ask citizenship.

At least, that's what this empty candle tells me.


It is hard

hard to wait--

there is so much I want to have done already...


But patience is the only way towards the peace of a thing done *right*,

towards creamy pages filled with beautiful cursive,

rather than halting, broken block print;

towards pages describing truly authentic expression flourished with joy,

rather than bitter, heavily-influenced imitation for want of approval.


A portion of poetry to be lived

lines and curves and words to be explored.


I grip this book with its purposes yet unknown --

A girl learning how to speak,

A woman struggling towards fullness,

A section of life yet to come.