Poem for the weekend: The Self as Constellation
February 10, 2011
I’ve now read cover to cover the collection of which this is the title poem. Jeanine Hathaway’s work is startling and familiar both, and this poem is a good example of that delicious simultaneity. She’s an incredible poet, and I’m still in shock that I’ll get to work with her during the MFA program. She’s also skilled in prose; her novel Motherhouse makes me wish it was my job to stay home and read. (I still hold out hope.)
In honor of good writing, I’m starting the weekend off early. Enjoy.
The Self as Constellation
The other woman in me loves the unlit
clouds roiling under the face
of the moon like childhood fears,
the hurry and snap of trees, branches
scratching at our screens, noises
let out of their harness at night.
I settle indoors and build
a fire, its rush and crackle
contained small on the other side
of the screen. I pull out a thick
novel, an orderly world, everything
left in, left out for human reasons.
I untie my hair.
The other woman dresses heavy,
warm, rustles around beyond my book
extra hat, sleeping bag, brandied fruit.
She leaves her glasses on my dresser.
We create our own balance and tension
and four-legged gait. Neither of us
knows what the other sees as
we look out through the same eyes.
What she can expect tomorrow: me
asleep near my book and cold fire.
And I: her, rising early, coming in
with the milk and the morning star.