|Oct/Nov 2001 • Poetry|
My fingernails click nervously
the room where she
showered and bled and
put on her wine lipstick and
arranged her cherry curls
the checkered indigo/grey
floor that breathlessly caught
her peach kimono,
lacey bras, silk gowns
she left here
to haunt me.
The neighbor's cat
knows I don't belong.
Everything on the bed
is new, the ostrich feather
quilt, egyptian cotton sheets
in gold, green eyelet pillows.
A kiss opens me
Under the old bed,
a jar of dragonflies
twitching in ether,
paralyzed into art.
Never take a lover
until you find delicious
the taste of your own
blood in a kiss.
The Place Where Forgotten Things Go
We meet at the foot of Lighthouse Bridge
in day lilies, lemon-chrome leaves
ascending, splitting, recurving.
We take marigold soup at the beach bistro,
cakebread wine and ostrich fettuccini,
cappuccino cake with tart raspberries.
Black clouds streak a flickering cobalt
sky, barefoot in the sugary sand,
we tempt the emerald neon waves.
A curse it is, knowing how things end.
We meet like this again, a bouquet
of red valerian, shallow toothed leaves
in pink bakery paper, I am the ghost
on your back, you are the tentative lover,
someone new to open with a kiss.
Excuse me for this caution.
Forgive me if I know
the place where forgotten things go.
A copper lamp blinks from the paint chipped gazebo.
Pre-hurricane night air bows the cobalt willows.
Now I see my choices are black lacey nightgowns
in a fortune cookie.
As a child I fell in love with an ancient
doctor's doll, a pleasant jade woman nude
on a bed or a coffin, never knowing she revealed
the ailments of a thousand women, killed by modesty.
I waited for her to rise, lips swollen for her lover.
Our lives run parallel,
You, a tourist on this sugar beach,
Me, a damage assessor
Slicing the shells of petrified turtles,
Nursing the slick formaldehyde skins of frogs.
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