In Sight of the Seasons

by Sonya Taaffe

All that winter, I wore the moon
like a borrowed eye, glass-cold
in a globe of tears that blinded
me, light-shivered, frozen
in refraction till all my vision
turned white: to statuary planes,
time-starkened of their paint,
all gods’ bright faces scoured
to distance and their shoulders
turned as sweetly clean as bone.
A world under plaster, a snow
of preservation; stranger
and lover alike gone to effigies
of thin-skinned clarity over clay.
All their eyes were the backs
of mirrors. All their mouths
were sealed with ice, the lips
of a mute mask. For the thaw,
I waited: to cry the moon
like milk from my eyes, salt
and seed-pale, to touch hands
that softened to sweat and
amazement in my fingers’ grasp,
remembering flesh after frieze
and brittle posture. To wash
the faces of gods and fellows
bright again with green and gold,
as the moon waxed to white
wine and the mirrors unlocked
and ran silver in the dawn;
when I set the sun in my eye
for summer, fire-encrystalled,
all my sight alchemized to gold,
to stare through star-furnace
and the honey spears of light,
leonine, burning—until I would need
once again to see only cold.

Published in Not One of Us #34, September 2005