Gaia, Dreaming by Philip Metres

From the amazing contemporary poet Philip Metres, whom I first heard at Split This Rock. Philip’s own poetry blog is:Behind The Lines. This poem is from the chapbook Ode to Oil, which you can buy from Kattywompus Press here

Gaia, Dreaming
Philip Metres

She dreams she is body again.
In the open field, sound of sky and wind
through grasses.

And the water is a burnished mirror, mind for the wander.

The body beneath the klieg lights is ethered
but breathing. Her breast is rising and falling
not seen by human eyes.

And the wander is drilling under.

In the dream of the body, men
in white masks. The gleaming
instruments upon a table.

And the drilling is a kneading, a rising of what is under.

The sound of them like mandibles of ants,
a clicking like watches thousands of times
magnified, the machinery of mind.

And what is under once was over, flowing like rain.

The body is restless but tethered.
In the dream she sees herself as nothing
but table and harvest.

And the water is a river, coursing beneath our feet.

The men—now feathered—have lost their arms
to black wings. They lower their naked faces,
beak out the viscera of her dream

and the blood. She sees it all now
as if through a hole in the sky, beyond the blue ether—

And the blood is a burning river, mined from the vein


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