Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Tom Sleigh

To Water

Element so clear, element of grace
	Moving so quickly the moving seems at rest,
If you had being other than this blur

	Of surface passing into surface, your
Body would take shape as her body does
	So constant in its flowing otherness

Outward toward this instant depending
	And falling into depths where all is flowing
Toward this stasis that is her hand

	Lifting to her hair, hesitating, no sound
Or movement more present to my watchfulness-
	Not time, hope, afternoons that drift like ash,

Not sweat, sperm, spit or sighs, not blood on sheets
	Or sheets rippling over flesh, no movement
Moves like her hand's gentle unmoving

	While wherever you will flow keeps flowing.

To Dust

Dust reverses itself and shapes itself into a body-

the water is sweet to it and it comes to the water
wanting, and wanting, goes away, goes away filled
with the fullness of wanting. The body of dust

that finds love in wanting and that once was nothing
remembers the water and its weight, recalls each drop saturating the dust it sinks down into

now, aroused on its knees, under your gaze.

© Tom Sleigh