LOST WAX CAST OF SKULL
On seeing the glass cast of a human skull, “Parsifal,” by Tim Whiten at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, 2004
I have not rolled away. Neither will I fall.
What directed one foot in front of my other made both my hands lift poles, heavy and settled on the shoulders, under the giant pump of work.
Tar and grit washed the forehead with clay.
Under grey-brown sky, what flows from smoking bones is squeezed from the ground.
A pail does the work, heat and my sweat are the same.
Eyelids turn inside out when the sun blinks.
Learn to be used by fire.
Leave aside what will not be felt again.
Sockets shut to sleep at the start of night.
What is my sword?
A way of waiting
Not mine not owned not wielded
But what I taste is the holding of myself in this position
Where what I do not do matters most
Not to fall and break
Nor lean too sharply
Not forget flame – itself my life
All that I know is steep
Beginning, the bird’s mouth closes over its claws
copyright@Mia Kirsi Stageberg, San Francisco, CA