Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Poem by Barbara Ruth


a verb intransitive:
to hold together
to attach, adhere
becoming one
as in marriage.
a verb transitive:
to split asunder
to fissure, fracture
becoming two
as in marriage.
It's in our chemistry
the same as rocks or stars:
our molecules embrace, then as we transform
they fly apart.

Does quartz resist
rutile's bold intrusion?
Does copper wish that manganese was malachite?
Do sodium and chlorine
lick their lips as they
anticipate their union?

Another life form
may have charted us already
set out places at the periodic table
in a house we cannot see:
it is not given us to know.

Come here
because of this, our natural attraction.
Go back
because of this, our natural division.
Through it all, and through it all
we cleave.

In the small, Midwestern towns where she grew up, Barbara Ruth always felt queer, even before she fell in love with a girl at age seven.  Since early childhood, she has written to uncover secrets, resist assimilation, and explain what she could not understand, to the world and to herself.  She is disabled by diseases and disabilities too numerous and aggravating to name.  She still believes in propaganda by the deed and revolution within the revolution, preferably one she can dance to.  Access, in all its permutations, challenges and inspires her.  And that ain't all.

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