2 March 2006 | Vol. 6, No. 1

The Seeker

                                    after Tarkofsky

I live on the zone's edge which we call The Forest.

Why? you ask. Why what? I ask back.

For my calling I crawl,

vermin-like, through a glade with a battalion of burnt

tanks, their guns every which-way, matchsticks.

A cast-iron stove where good intentions simmered

boils over as we pass under a clear sky toward the dome

where hope is the one intact

room in a house overlooking the river valley.

I take you to this threshold. Who?

Anyone who asks. Rain curtains the room's entrance.

The phone inside rings. You step through the archway,

dripping, No,

this is not the maternity ward.

Now, it rains in the room itself,

water filling with fish that nose the oily, rainbowed swirls,

come from nowhere. Sitting halfway out the window,

we draw up our legs. Don't leave.

You say, It's raining in the room.

I say, I don't know the way out,

only the way in. My daughter when her big heart burst

stared so hard at the book, the glass, the hand-

painted pitcher of water on the table,

they shook as if a bomb hurtled nearby.

They inched toward her.

When the book fell open, she mouthed the words, not looking

up. Not looking, really, for anything at all.

About the author:

Cynthia Hogue has published five collections of poetry, most recently The Incognito Body (2006). She is the co-editor of Innovative Women Poets: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Interviews (2006), and of the first edition of H.D.'s The Sword Went Out to Sea (Synthesis of a Dream), by Delia Alton (2007). In 2005, she was awarded H.D. Fellowship at the Beinecke Library at Yale University, and in 2007, a MacDowell Colony Residency Fellowship. In 2008, she was awarded an Arizona Commission on the Arts Artists Project Grant for a multigenre project of interviews with Hurricane Katrina evacuees. In 2003, she joined the Department of English at Arizona State University as the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Cynthia Hogue at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 6, No. 1, where "The Seeker" ran on March 2, 2006. List other work with these same labels: poetry, editors' select.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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