Lenny Dellarocca

          Woman From Starlake

          There was a time I would have opened the world, broken apart the crust of the Earth for you, like a watermelon to let water run from my soul. A river from my heart tumbling out of control in the wake of your eyes when they wash over me.
          And your voice, low and intimate, speaking nothing but a sound turns me up-side down somehow. I stay calm though my bones shake like a planet in trouble with its own moon. I remain steady though the sea of your face rolls over me in waves. I sit there and become a rock.
          I want to rock the stars, send them slipping from a young girl's dream, for you. Perhaps ten years ago I would've done this: beat the ground with my weight of love, die in the seizure of my want, for you. But now, because I'd rather wait for you to be clear like a day after rain when ozone drifts from storm-touched streets, I simply let you fade in and out of my grasp, my fingers unfold and there you are- moving furniture back and forth across the rooms of your heart.
          If you deny me and never touch me with your small lips that seem to be some kind of rare fruit, I will stay a rock. Harden in the light of a godless sky where angels shovel coal at the sad, sad stars.


          It is because I travel half alone I understand emptiness, a place for everything, an openness where halves fill. Even togetherness must be full of separation. There must be a place for everyone to die; life is our emptiness and cry for grace.
          It is in endings I have come to know the beauty of letting go; making room for more. What are we but shapes some kind of god has poured into halfway and then withdraws like a deer filled up with drinking that suddenly sees its reflection on the stream. This is the surprise of silence when shimmering, we stand face to face with ourselves.
          It is because we stop breathing between breaths that everything comes to awareness, so that it is a re-enforcement of ourselves, we perpetuate and sustain our own rarity by being alone; we make it real. Together we become a conference. We speak among the dumbness of nature and hear our echo.
          If you come to me seeking some kind of oneness, it is halfness that will fill you up until you love, give birth, die; the other half will be reflection, silence, the echo of the emptiness that must contain us all. I have come halfway to my death alone, found it full, total, with living things, you, we speak -- and then we fall asleep.

          Grandpa's Vision

          Grandpa saw the Mother of God in our cellar. He sat half blind in the black chair extending a crooked finger at the brilliant light coming through the window.
          "That's where She appeared," he told my mother. To this day I think of Fatima, Lourdes and wonder.
          And if She did appear why didn't she take away his pain? Her great light didn't cure or calm his raging feet or give him back his eye, didn't soothe his aching hands or let him walk without his cane.
          Now, I imagine Her hovering above the black tiles, skin white as porcelain, standing in the air surrounded by light so bright you'd have to bow your head.
          Grandpa said She spoke to him. He never told us what She said.

          © 1997 Lenny Dellarocca