Suzanne Berger

Before Rescue

(for the Chilean miners)

Dark is their dog, their rice, their silent radio
Their wife now, their plows

Darkness, the hunger,
the ragged wind that visits the cave

Dark, who has taught light to move away—
From the corners, is darkness ready to speak?

Say something, they plead

Darkness, the empty bowl of night

that covered trees,
trees shimmering by day near their houses

They can hardly remember trees

Darkness, the after and before,
the empty portal

The axis now, their warden

Dark now becoming the darkest deity:

Darkthou must let us go

Genesis: A fantasy (or A Genesis)

Solar egg, tide colored like pearls and jellyfish:
conjugations of lava, of carbon
over an arctic of speechless tundra—
a tryst—

A streaming shock of vocals,
granite cracking
through water’s transitive surfaces—
ocean about to rear up
like a stallion

flattening its ears
in waves:

and the language of sky begins to speak,
dirt translates
into guttural noises of continent.
Then begins the upheaval
of new declensions,
a great listening

to the new earth-speaking mass,
sounding everywhere:
Abide with all of this.

And a lyric world begins.

Suzanne E. Berger

Suzanne E. Berger is an author and teacher. A Pushcart Prize winning poet, she has taught at Lesley University, the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard Summer School, and Boston University. She has served on the NH State Council for the Arts, and has published two books of poetry and a book of essays: Legacies (Alice James Press), These Rooms (Penmaen Press), and Horizontal Woman (Houghton Mifflin). Her work has appeared in The New YorkerPloughsharesAgni ReviewThe Harvard ReviewAntaeus, and many other places.