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Sawdust

 
by David Wojahn

Coming always from below, blade wail & its pungency

          *

laddering up toward my childhood room, my nostrils

          *

sick-sweet with it. Below he worked his grave machines,

          *

tintinnabulous their whirr & snarl.

          *

His face in sawdust spray: sweat beads

          *

nacreous & a pollen lather, canary yellow.

          *

Resinous the wood where he’s entombed.

          *

Resinous the wood, who rises spectra

          *

this morning with the saber saws, churning the house

          *

they’re building down the street below my study,

          *

latticework beams. Sawdust visage flaring, ceremonial mask

          *

lifted down from the ill-lit gallery

          *

& placed by him upon my face. Eye-slits for sight,

          *

bright gash for speech, two raw nail holes for scent.







From Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004 by David Wojahn © 2006 Reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
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