Erika Bauer


Blur the ordinary identity.
A purple rose fulfills this monochrome heaven,
water runs from my fingertips onto your shoulders.
All night we hear the roar of these falls,
water at once with rock against rock and beyond rock.

Are there windows here -
or is there only your glance against so much emptiness.
I no longer see the distinction.
I live in the woods of thieves.
They steal my body, my heart, my words.
And my hands,
like radial suns with matched definite bones
only cup cold air for answers.
My feet balance perfectly the right and left chambers of my heart.
Mirrors and saints swim within this body,
become and remain sojourners
airborne on the black blackness of the night.
I am pulled and pushed into something else,
northbound, pressed-in.
(And all the while animal shadows are weaving their edges together
into a never heart-stop mystery of eyes.)

Now I forget the islands where we learned to harvest salt,
forget time, borne of loss.
The blue-blackness is everything,
is the center
completely open where emptiness subsides.
The water parts, envelops my hand, my arm, my body,
as I turn river stones, enveloping the persistent sadness.
The pull it has. Again
I remember human faces in the center of flowers,
so quickly
brilliant white.

Copyright 1996, Erika Bauer

Erika Bauer, a writer and vocalist based in Oakland, CA, is currently seeking her
masters degree in creative writing at San Francisco State University. Her poetry has
been published in Denver Quarterly, Santa Clara Review, Transfer, Common
and other journals. She received a Best Poetry, 1992, award from the
San Francisco Poetry Center and New York Academy of American Poets.