All because of a turn of phrase I heard on the radio
I did a web search for the station’s call letters
Leading to the radio station’s website
Leading to a play list
Of today’s spoken word line-up,
Including the performance of Looking at Each Other
by the author
Which contained the articulation I had been searching for
The words that had hit me squarely
tickling the soft tingling places inside me
As they rolled off the tongue of an older female speaker
with a strong knowing voice
‘It is lovely to finally meet you Muriel’, I coo.
All because of Muriel Rukeyser
poetry collections, author’s guides, college library websites
Needing to have her full text now
Not later, no.
Not in the future, but
I searched my city’s library website, desperate and determined
using all the search terms I could think of:
woman, Muriel, lesbian, “yes our breasts looked at one another”, “spoken word poet performance”, “I’m desperate and shaking, can you just do this for me once without my help?”.
I used the words that led me to a list of four published books
and their call numbers
in my city’s public library system, including which location,
the X marking the spot, the treasure chest holding this poem.
I need you.
I beg of you.
Let me know you.
Be my knowing,
All because of a spoken word
performance on the radio
I placed shoes on my bare feet
I drove eagerly toward she who knew me
Toward she whom I knew
Toward that which was home.
Because of a turn of phrase
by Muriel Rukeyser
I discovered the $97.73 in library fines
on books reported as lost,
charged against my library card
no wonder my sister had stayed away
kept her bibliophilic distance from that place
for so long.
Now I understand her excitement to be back
though she must have forgotten these, my charges
or she would not have shared her delight
Because of my wildly ambitious and
covetously animalistic needing,
I put 20 cents into the library’s photocopying machine
with shaking hands
please, Be My Valentine.
I did not check to see that the poem printed correctly from both pages.
I was afraid of being caught out
afraid of being seen
illicitly enraptured with a dead woman’s ghostly whisperings:
Yes, we were looking at each other
Yes, we knew each other very well
Yes, we had made love with each other many times
Yes, bread and flowers were on the table
Yes, it was beginning in each
Yes, the beating became very delicate
Yes yes yes
Because of finding what I hadn’t even known was missing
I did not photocopy the last lines of Muriel’s poem
Two, possibly four lines
on page 474
Announcing the Fait de Complété
and yet I do not need them