Joy Manesiotis


            Flight Over Stone Pond (quilt) | Cindy Rinne

           Flight Over Stone Pond (quilt) | Cindy Rinne

Revoke

 

And so she found another way.

And the child came through someone else’s body.

And her body forsakes what it would do: and opens
the (arduous) path for this child.  

. . .

Jutting from cliff, the roof a cantilevered triangle, and three gulls:
call and caw, feathers hunched,
wings extended in stiff command, and calling, calling:

calling in.

. . .

(Her child meant to come through someone else’s body.)  

. . .

The form now cast, the artist buffs out the bronze, umber and sienna
moving through the surface, its depth.  She places the rounded form
on a pillow: shape of coherence: displayed as:

. . .

the body as healed; as: the body as perfect vessel; as: holding it all

. . .

but even this body refuses wholeness—

. . .

Holding this child’s imprint, holding her shape.  
Its round perfection.  Its perfect will.

. . .

Persistence of vision: the brain holds an image a fraction longer
than the eye: and the world doesn't go black each time we blink

. . .

and opens the (arduous) path for this child

. . .

The waves: huge.  Huge towering rolls of green water, laced
with foam.  Pelican flying along the inside wrap,
                                                                                    banking into its curl

and two girls—seven years old, long legs, ponytails—little whippets—
at water’s edge

. . .

(Her child meant to come through someone else’s body.)
Its round perfection.  Its perfect will.

. . .

After the storm, the waves huge: the water laced with invisible toxin:
pesticide, fertilizer, gasoline, paint thinner
run through storm drains, pipes large enough to stand in

. . .

We sit in a dark theatre half the time,

. . .

And the child would be given a gift, but to receive it,
she must suffer great loss, must be turned away from
the one who must also turn away

and in her place, the one to cradle the child steps in:

. . .

each frame divided from the next by a line of black—
a series of still images projected and then perceived as movement

. . .

a hum of revoke, revoke

. . .

the fact of the girls against the wall of water

. . .

and the action there, in that line of black, not lit, which is to say,
not shown—

. . .

a good mother: attentive, compassionate, but not
without her flaws.  In her throat she carries her daughter’s loss,
carries an ache like swollen fruit,

and in her limbs, the current of longing.

. . .

The body’s process: silent, internal: how film,
once exposed, begins to break down:

. . .

the body as healed: as perfect vessel: as holding it all

. . .

even the sharp dust scoring emulsion, scrim where image is imprinted, white lines
running through faces, waves, even the gulls:

. . .

a hum of revoke, revoke

. . .

the atmosphere itself
working at the film’s inner fabric

. . .

and moment after moment of still life: the girls, beautiful
in their little-girl bodies—long-legged, ponytailed—dancing,

then frozen for a moment, and behind them the huge coil
of green water, hovering five or six feet above their heads, paused,
before rolling toward them,
                                                  and they, backlit, the sun at mid-sky
out to sea, the wave
                                    also backlit, translucent, the girls almost
darkened to silhouette.


BIO

 

JOY MANESIOTIS is the author of They Sing to Her Bones, which won the Poetry Prize from New Issues Press.  Individual poems and essays have appeared widely in literary journals, including The American Poetry Review, Massachusetts Review, and Poetry International, as well as in translation, in the Romanian journal, Scrisul Romanesc.  In 2012, her poems were dropped over Nicosia, Cyprus as part of Spring Poetry Rain, an international cultural event to foster peace in the last divided city in Europe.  She teaches in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Redlands, where she also directs the Visiting Writers Series.