Laura Mullen
April 2010


Alba


Dawn where the, where the.
Grey lifting off,
Herons on the black mud,
Exposed, of the bay. Blue-greys and greens,
The steady shore, the knife blade
Leaves of the eucalyptus dripping in fog,
Tic, tic, the air salt. Dawn,
Dawn, dawn; the idiot’s
Stutter. Remarried.
The mirror slips out. Out
On the glazed mud
The vase-shaped birds make their harsh
Unvarying cries. I am.

Chalk smell, damp, of clay and the dull grey
Swelling under his hands, turning, opens
To a vase. Dawn. The shelves full,
The bisqued and the still-damp squat, O-
Mouthed, all wonder, veiled to be trimmed.
Smell of clay. Dawn, dawn, favored a deep blue
Glaze called cobalt, fired all night
At cone six, or cone ten.
I don’t know the trade. The hell
Of the kiln intact, in the dark, a brick
Removed: a window into hell. Remarried.
Up all night for beauty you could use.

I am going to explain.
Dawn the deep blue
Burns away, the fog crawls
Off the edges, exposing
The flesh color, the raw
Clay. The cries of the blue
Grey herons float back across the bay.

Smell of clay. Dawn. Silence.
Begin again.

 

First appeared in The Surface. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1991. 1-2.