I quest for a rapt eye, an accurate voice,
a cavity in long bones resonating,
in short, irregular bones—the spine pipe, wind
pipe, lips to larynx, vocal folds that vibrate
air, cords, strings, percussive winds gaining lift
like wings birds depend on. I wish I’d been that cold
nymph turned to reed—rooted, cut—who created pitch
from her body, from the stem of her torso,
a range of tones from mixed lengths of cane, the syrinx
birds depend on.
With knotted bonding trills that ring
inside flight calls,
vying males fight for that eye
of heaven. (Only birds close their eyes at death.)
I quest for open,
foramen, for words sounding
the culm, the body—whole, cut by a lover.
M. Jan Bender’s work has appeared in Cimarron Review, RUNES, 580 Split, Good Foot, Salzburg Poetry Review and ORIGIN. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture, http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume Three (2009): Immanence/ Imminence