April 26, 2012

I.

So surprised is the breeze upon

My arrival that it holds its own

Breath and I nearly drown.

 

II.

One moment waiting to devour

A pregnant apple in the market’s singing

Sun the next a deep-milked violet hum

And he knows she comes but knows not

Who she is.

 

III.

A slouched desire to stifle these

Mermaids too sequined to speak;

They glimmer in ombre shadows

Of sweated gold and silver

And the glassy lapis lazuli

That looks so smooth but crumbles

Into chalk dust settling into the rivets,

Wrinkles near my lip, on my tongues.

 

IV.

Where the well

Of a waterfall dapples the salmon striped

Rock above and there is someone’s god in the trick

of light

And it is too much—so she goes.

 

V.

Octavia weeps and her knees congeal,

cold butter into the floor.

She will only return as a clawed branch

Julienning the queen’s face, halfheartedly.

A sleeping kitten shifting on nylon stockings.

 

VI.

There is a place where two rivers meet

But also do not. The first runs warm and taupe,

Dipping neatly under the second—

the second frosted with purpose.

 It is a miracle but it is also nothing.

 

VII.

The tension explodes off stage. 
“Alarum afar off, as at a sea fight.”

Like in the drooping heat of a flame

Where borders are smudged and dreams

Themselves sleep. Bleeding gums,

Like rotting poppies, and swollen.

 

VII.

A dead sparrow, only a comma of bones

And bent feathers but

If she is missing her eyes

We think of her for hours.

 

VIII.

Life like a shadow box.

We eat apricots, slit the throats

Of those who betray us,

Make love—or business,

And each casts the same long

Dishwater line behind the skin.

3:42am
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