Week 37: A Stranger Once Again

Each breath of you is a baffling occurrence
Like a lizard you, moving in stops and starts
Blazing rapid through doorways, vibrant hued
Then dripping as wax, cooling into shades of blue

She is a stranger, though I know the color of her eyes
Though I know each of her eyelashes by name
Though I know every sigh and blow and whistle of her
Though I know her by the sound of her feet in the dark

It is a stranger and it walks at night
It holds wild rituals just over the crested hill
Dancing with moonbeams and lapping dew from fallen leafs
It is a foreign beauty, the mist of an ancient valley
A pagan of the north wind and the churning sea
A prelapsarian devil, unmarred by hell or heaven

It, or she, or even you—once just a stranger
And then a name and a vague color
And then a face, and then more than a face
A person then, and then a person who I knew
And now, up close, a stranger once again

Author’s Notes:

This week’s poem is an odd one I suppose, but I like it. It’s about getting to know someone well, but not totally being able to relate to them or get inside their head, so the more you know about them the stranger they seem. Maybe it’s a bit too clever and just ends up being confusing, but I thought it was fun playing with the pronouns as the poem progressed, emphasizing the weirdness and distance.
I’m very pleased with myself for working the word prelapsarian into the poem, (meaning ‘characteristic of the time before the Fall of Man’), and love that line because it has a timeless gravitas that makes it sound like it was pulled directly from Milton or something.

Favorite Line:
“A prelapsarian devil, unmarred by hell or heaven”

Line Even I Don’t Really Understand:
“Then dripping as wax, cooling into shades of blue”