Poetic Responses: Fay Ray's "I Am The House" @ Shulamit Nazarian In Los Angeles

fay ray pearls.jpg

text by Claressinka Anderson


How to be of a structure –
to inhabit it in your bones,
your skin,
to live with it in the murky
blackness of a concealed post and beam?

Hanging a cross around my neck,
I press my naked body against the X of a window frame,
place between my legs the harvested corn from your garden,
remember the women before me,
this kitchen,
their feet
stoic on unstable ground.

Their eyes sliced open –

an eye for an eye –

for an egg­­.


Chain and hook my body,
tether it to the walls,
to the bed where I sleep and

dream of tiny hands,

of a body that doesn’t know birth,
of a mouth that eats pearls for breakfast –

tiny iridescent moons
that deliver calcium for a skeleton.

I lick the surface of a shell,
place my tongue at the edge of its
salt     smooth     pink
and listen for butterflies.

And in that shell I do not hear the sea,
but the quiet desert
full of sand and stars.


Tonight for dinner there is corn –
kernels of metallic memories,
they float into the wonder of a sky
where light itself is a wormhole
gobbling confessions.

Delicious secrets in an
attic full of mercy,
concealed by
a pull down staircase,
I place my foot on its tender rungs,
ascend each ligament one by one,
all the way up
to drink with the moon –

I am, I whisper, 

I am

I am

I am.