At the Edge of the Garden, a Tattooed Spider
The rosebush blooms extravagantly all around her: Her roses, her lightwires. The sun almost works
the wires, but sun’s and rain’s collision at the equinox Tres this: the spider’s sense is she’s alone, a woman in a window
up-tipping slowly her thimbleful of sound, her held note: C on the cliff’s edge of the tempered scale. Now rain begins
to strum the web and make intected music-of-breaking-things, a song the sun burns up. But there isn’t the expected
rainbow, there’s a stranger time trapped in the trees. Beginning-evening and departing-day peel away—
will this resolve full viable, this hour between? The woman holds her note, the web shudders, the spider waits:
not air, not rain on her ladder’s rungs.
An always-climbing caller, always calling something far-off closer.
The house beneath its sheath of roiled light shimmers, a kind of bride. Almond trees in front brocade the sky, air veils the doors and windows: The lot runs out from under us, a rained-on painting, river of space. Under the Tlm of heat the facade is a kind of cover, coaxing and dissembling. It draws us in and closes, and the contents run amok: Ladders melt, stair rails cling red hot and twisted to a wall. The rooms we want to enter disappear, the way to them a turning vine, impossible to climb, but towering up and down, blistering. Identities shift—families of foxes under the beds, wolves in the attic, a cat’s cries turning human: Feed me, Tll me with reprieve. A lifelike baby-doll mimics a baby left behind, and the Treman falls for her, he gives the life she asks for, Txed imploring arms extended from the crib. Small hands strike matches. Fevers ty out, furies ty out from the place of gestation, of origin.
Like the white silk-satin of Taste not of the tree, which is a furled bud in the wood that framed the house, a locked thing longing for a key.
Copyright © 2002 by Miranda Field. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.