Metaphysical Narrative

Anne Guzzardi

Walking Broadway to find Fulton Street in the dark,
I went the wrong way and found myself
in front of a carved piece of wooden wall
about the size of a warehouse door. A city arts project,
it was all hieroglyphics of chiseled wood,
but with no fanfare of style, as if the rings of a tree
had deepened into a sign. It reminded me
of stepping the cobblestones down Chestnut Street as a child,
like hopping the grey backs of mollusks,
when the sound of a wheel from a car on the street
would hum and a thin voice twined in the trees
to speak to me. Twenty-five years later in the library
of the New York law firm of Davis, Polk and Wardwell,
my co-worker, Makesh Dave, a Hindu of the Brahmin class,
said "look, Anne, look at the sun"
and out our tenth floor window the sun
was a red tennis ball flaming on all sides
and slowly rotating -- I mean a three-dimensional sphere
that I could see turning --
and the earth moved away from me as another curved object.
So our horizon wasn't straight, it was curved.
Then I was trying to nap on a weekend drive to Virginia
with Shawn and Roza playing music
so I wrapped my face and head in a turban with the blanket
to shield myself from the sun and their noise
and I wasn't thinking very pious thoughts
as they cranked up a tune and I saw a cloud formation
shaped like the top of a tree with one arm trailing.
I wasn't asleep so I unwrapped the blanket and opened my eyes
to see the same cloud formation passing above us.
At the truck stop Gregory said, that was your third eye.
So now it's five years from the year 2000
and George has just given me the Mahabharata.
Yudhisthira the saint is on a journey to heaven
with his trusty dog who is denied entrance at the gate
by Indra, the King of Gods, but Yudhisthira will not
abandon the creature who trusts him
and finally they enter heaven together where
the dog is revealed as Dharma.
Chirac's French Government just detonated a nuclear bomb
at the Polynesian Island of Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific
and Lanara in tears said that all of New Zealand
could watch ocean boiling on television.
A pair of red-tailed hawks have come to live in Prospect Park,
in a city of 7 million people, and one hawk cruises now
above the tar-paper roofs of 11th Avenue
as though the working class red brick were mesas,
and the keen eyes of the bird are holy,
blessing these streets, blessing the alleys littered
with trash, the bloated rats, blessing our cruelty
and our filth, as though 11th Avenue
and the clear skies of New Mexico are not different
and those keen eyes find something that is here
to find, in the destruction, in the song of God

Copyright ©1997 Anne Guzzardi. All rights reserved.

Back to the Marlboro Review Home Page
Back to the Marlboro Review Archive