Five Points, Vol. 6 No. 2

Spring 2002

From Jim Harrison, “We all go up in smoke. I can disappear that quickly.”

Sample Content

Sharon Olds
Good Measure

Something wakes me, at my mother’s house,
in the dark. On the back of my hand, a wedge
glows, a patch of Almagordo,
the new-risen moon, the last quarter,
as if my mother, in her sleep, took
a ladle, and poured, from some source, somewhere,
this portion. My mother loves me, and I feel a little
cheated—who will be true, now
to the years of drought? Whoever will
be true to them can thirst in good measure
under the glistening breast. There used to be no
choice, for her, she was a gurdy
of atoms swinging from each others’ elbows,
a force of hurdy wolvine cream,
and then, later, there was choice, she could dwell
on herself in bitterness or dwell on
herself in glee. But sometimes, now,
there is a motion, diurnal, drenched with attention
she turns to me, with passionate
affection—that’s when I feel that sore
resentful rib. Funny they call
the half moon the last quarter,
faithful to the back bulge,
faithful to the edge between too little and too much,
the narrow calcium line neither roasting
nor freezing—if food were not in question, or
shelter, or rest, one could make one’s home
on that border, if one could just keep moving,
nomad offspring of the stone opal
wanderer, borne, singing,
across the night. My mother loves me
with a full, child’s heart. Here is my pleynt.