I’ve been eating honey right from the spoon
-- Marie Ponsot
after Marie Ponsot
after (as she, as her, as female, remembers)
bees hum & swarm to collect pollen & local smells,
honey hums the air full like cicadas
and, having hummed clean
gorgeous blooms aroma
sweet language of wild
taste does fill the tea mug
uncoupled of love; it stings
the want to sing a language
from ancient Egypt of knowing
how to speak bee. Such honey
expands as if a gold pot
color all from the rainbow and sun
stores much more than thirst to enrich,
engulf the tongue of drinker
till it enacts a need
as it calls out:
TAKE (as she asks her
who of the beekeepers speak
who tongues my gold).
after Marie Ponsot
She in the line of names
I say the name called
Still now her ears do not react.
Always, she is ghostwritten.
Keeper, negotiator, overridden
Actions of body and mind,
Words from another’s voice
Through her gums to form her,
Replace inner sanctuary of self
I know her birth name is
The original name.
She has loss the choice of framework
To narcotic people
dances without eyes to
her multiple tongues
talk their roach motel.
Sensitive, passionate, nonconfrontational with others:
Peacekeeper, she is always ghostwritten
What she does of what she doesn’t want.
Ghostwriting the Her in Me
Becoming self in herself is written
By nightlight, the lamp between
Bed and desk over an IBM
Where words dismantle the day
And create dreams to sleep while awake.
After midnight the living begins,
What she knows she is:
her, her dancing in the hall with a prince
her, her slipping in silk writing the rain-
bow, she writes herself, names
the items to do:
dip the ocean into a bowl of knowing,
scone the moon over daylight,
create a satin ring for Saturn,
hush the thirst of want.
She finally sees what others see, what they see she means:
Only the pleasure she gives them
So decisive there is no her.
Is this how she comes to know herself?
As the her vanishes by rewriting the ghostwritten
The chaste voices rip her into multiple
Years of words not of her own.
Not vanquished by morning
HER words paginate the voice.
About Dawn Cunningham
Dawn Cunningham writes to explore herself, a situation, others ideas, and to find truth. Her writing comes out of the joy of oral storytelling taught to her by Gran’ma Ginny through the Native American tradition. Writing is her sanity. Recent publications are Confluence, Healing Words: A Journey Through the Ladder UPP, Poetry Quarterly, and an upcoming publication in Storylandia, The Beasthood.