“Love Letter (Clouds)” by Sarah Manguso

for B. H.

I didn’t fall in love. I fell through it:
Came out the other side moments later, hands full of matter, waking up from the dream of a bullet tearing through the middle of my body.
I no longer understand anything for longer than a long moment, or the time it takes to receive the shot.
This kind of gravity is like falling through a cloud, forgetting it all, and then being told about it later. On the day you fell through a cloud . . .
It must be true. If it were not, then when did these strands of silver netting attach to my hair?
The problem was finding that you were real and not just a dream of clouds.
If you weren’t real, I would address this letter to one of two entities: myself, or everyone else. The effect would be equivalent.
The act of falling happens in time. That is, it takes long enough for the falling to shear away from the moments before and the moments after, long enough for one to have thought I am falling. I have been falling. I continue to fall.
Falling through a ring, in this case, would not mean falling through the center of the annulus—a planet floats there. Falling through the ring means falling through the spaces between the objects that together make the ring.
On the way through, clasp your fists around the universe:
Nothing but ice-gravel.
But open your hands when you reach the other side. Quickly, before it melts.
What did I leave you?

“Love Letter (Clouds)” from Siste Viator © 2006 by Sarah Manguso.

via poetryfoundation 

“Asking For More” by Sarah Manguso

I am not asking to suffer less.
I hope to be nearly crucified.
To live because I don’t want to.

That hope, that sweet agent —
My best work is its work.
The horse I ride into Hell is my best horse
And bears its name.
So, friends, drink your cocktails and wear your hats.
Thank you for leaving me this whole world to go mad in.

I am not asking for mercy. I am asking for more.
I don’t mind when no mercy comes
Or when it comes in the form of my mad self
Running at me. I am not asking for mercy.

“Asking For More” by Sarah Manguso, via Poetry Daily