Seventh Piece (Love’s Paradox)

There, five inches above your rosy skin, is a hand,
a gesture, a hesitation, a tired bird looking for a nest, my hand.

How infinitely close Pluto is to his gold-haired Sun.
How infinitely far you are to my uncertain touch.

Why have we come to this, darling love!

On this cold blue evening we are as close as two stars,
and as far apart as you are in my arms.

Onion

This is not about
how she makes me cry.
It’s not even

about the tender heart, tied
to a secret, hidden
beneath her

white organza dress, unattainable
despite my teary efforts.
You see – this is about

her coming to ripeness in my garden,
a full moon rising
to the high throne. Indubitably she is

the queen’s picking, fattened virgin
bulb, green stalks
soon to flower. Overnight,

poignantly and nervously, she drags
her robe of white mist
in slow waltz, my sweet deb.

Come daybreak I will have to take her
out of her loam-perfumed
boudoir, and marry her off to the gentle

yellow bell pepper.

 

Originally published in Mount Hope, Issue 9, Spring 2016

The Island

On a warm Wednesday I went to Ellis Island alone. That morning I poked the yoke of my husband’s sunny-side-up, and burnt his toasts on purpose. On hands, on knees, on chafed discontent, I crawled all the way to Miss Liberty’s crowned head. I’ve often had dreams like this. Blue veins of oceans pumping salt-water into my wounded canoe. I shall never make it to her alive, I’ve traded my paddles for the low simmering kettle expectant of boiling so I could thaw this damn chicken for the dinner party where I shall be red-lipped, high-heeled and properly elusive. But I shall never make it to her alive, not this moment when the jungle-red sun has been hushed, and my soapy hands are clasping the soiled collar of an ill-fitted and tedious shirt with such stubbornness. I scrub it into moonrise whiteness, so white that I could almost start over in my weightless sleep. My dream takes me to the island – the stone – lipped woman married to the hands of the mason who sculpted her into perfect stillness. I touch her bare petrous toes, they are cold as my own. She is close – so close that the burning torch in her hand could almost be mine.

 

Originally published in Sweet Tree Review, Winter 2016. 

Sixth Piece

You see how –
one moon
orbits one earth,
against all reasons, unaware
of beginnings or endings,
witnessed by a universe
of joyous stars.

And that is how –
I have always loved you
under the constant moon
as we walked down
the long, thin, twinkling
orange grove –
I have loved your bashful smile,
against all reasons, unaware
of beginnings or endings.