Eighth Week, Driving Home After The Sonogram, Beethoven

pouring into the car, the East River
fiercely gleaming, the string section leading the horns
as we take that curve where the bridges appear,
first the blue Manhattan, then the arcing Brooklyn,
all of us in that surge, and in me a heart
is beating, I saw it
flicker on the screen the way a star issues out
into the night sky, in those huge pulses that emanate
what we live on. And then it's that place
where the horns are seriously pounding,
and for a moment I almost turn
to the back seat,
to see whether the baby is liking these sounds: the horns
pushing into the exit lane, the central line of flute
in that billowing joy, and the strings hurling themselves
forward, yes, I want to tell her-him, the music opens up
in your chest, it's supposed to feel
a little painful. Though it's too soon to explain
the grief of the man
who wrote down this music
because someone he'd loved, someone he'd thought would save
ppp people,
turned out to be cruel. So that really
the music pushes forward
through a curtain of pain like an atmosphere rippling
above a fire. It's like those movies where the astronaut
leaves Earth, the capsule shaking
to show how we could shatter,
and the astronaut's face blurring
as though his accumulation of sorrows were finally
falling away. That's what's happening here
in the car, so I speed up over the bridge
to mark it, and because the music is surging, and the second
ppp heart inside me,
and when I looked in the rearview mirror
just now, the back seat was empty
but wasn't. Because really I am
the space capsule, the shuddering vehicle, and whatever those
ppp sorrows
my baby is moving toward-even the ones I make-
for a little while, this rider, this star-creature, fellow Earthling,
is gathering itself inside me.

From STRANGE LAND (University Press of Florida, 2001)


Poems by Sharon Kraus

Eighth Week, Driving Home After The Sonogram, Beethoven


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