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Bernadette Geyer Poems
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Pearls by Bernadette Geyer
And so I look back
still thinking of her
with painful heart,
this clench of inner flesh.

—Kakinomoto Hitomaro
from Manyoshu


Praise the irritant, that genesis,
implanted within the soft
and malleable animal that bore you.


Your brethren strung around my neck,
dangling from my earlobes.
The imperfections the jeweler slights, I praise.


Artifact of a biological process,
why do we expect
symmetry from a grain of sand?


Praise the oblong beauty
of you, solidified raindrops,
your stony quietude.


Let me praise the waters that bestow
your milky luster,
worshipped to ensure a bountiful hunt.


Manyoshu poems praised the ama,
female divers, who collected you,
as gently as quail eggs.


Let me rub you against my teeth to test
the veracity of you, roll you
around my tongue to weigh your heft.


The heart clenches, hides its moon
among clouds. Would that I, too, could build
a radiant world around a bitter nucleus.
View Bernadette Geyer:  Poems | Biography | Books

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