Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"You" By Julia Alvarez


By: Julia Alvarez

I love how English has a single you,
no tu, usted, no trying to figure out 
where strangers ran in the hierarchy
of my respect: are you a formal 
or familiar you? No asking permission
or apologizing if I get it wrong. 
I love the true democracy of you.
The pampered son of the dot-com millionaire
or the coal miner's daughter - all are you,
united in one no-nonsense pronoun. 

Comforting when I write because it means 
I'm leaving no one out, even a line
intended for an intimate includes
you, and also you. In this, my Noah's ark,
everyone is invited and can board
in two or threes or singly - those unborn 
as well as ghostly antepasados
who use to be usted and now are dust. 
At sea in mystery, we all became 
human cargo down the generations. 

Once you get used to you, all faces seem
to hold the face you love, and each child could be
the one you never had, each girl the girl 
you use to be or who your mother was. 
You is inclusive like that Beetle ad where linebackers kept piling into a car - 
I forget what the point was, but I'd watch
and understand their yearning to be one.
Just as I once climbed into a second tongue
and made room for me in its pronoun.

This is My Heart By: Joy Harjo

This is My Heart

 By: Joy Harjo 

This is my heart. It is a good heart.
Bones and a membrane of mist and fire
are the woven cover.
When we make love in the flower world
my heart is close enough to sing
to yours in a language that has no use
for clumsy human words.


My head is a good head, but it is a hard head
and it whirs inside with a swarm of worries.
What is the source of this singing, it asks
and if there is a source why can't I see it
right here, right now
as real as these hands hammering
the world together
with nails and sinew?


This is my soul. It is a good soul.
It tells me, "come here forgetful one."
And we sit together with a lilt of small winds
who rattle the scrub oak.
We cook a little something
to eat: a rabbit, some sofkey
then a sip of something sweet
for memory.


This is my song. It is a good song.
It walked forever the border of fire and water
climbed ribs of desire to my lips to sing to you.
Its new wings quiver with


Come lie next to me, says my heart.
Put your head here.
It is a good thing, says my soul.