Apr/May 2009 Poetry

Two Poems

by Aleah Sato

The Abandoned

They resurrect the walls
by whispering strange spells.
They wash the basin; in it, clothes
set out for Sunday have paled.
It is not enough to hope for water.
In a dry season, death opens its chasm.
When all feels lost,
they move hands over books,
hoping some lines, the forgotten
they adored, would offer solace.
They fade like gossamer—
moth wings hold more color
than the skin of these lovers.
No light keeps company;
no curtain opens to a knocking door.
They prop the furniture,
crack kindling for the hearth.
They wait for the sons and daughters
to come home. They wait.


talisman for the single

there are ways to keep him—

moon shaped, a toenail like a promise

a smoking mouth formed in red clay

the skin of his neck rubbed with perfume

and menstrual blood—any man

doesn't matter which one

but if you find your love

of his name is greater than the love

of his absence—try beeswax

open your dress—show him death

waits for no one while the young breathe

all the good air and wander

as if a home is for them just 'cause they're young

this is nature we're forming: tears, sweat, urine

forget your higher calling

the bleach-white bed of your saints

like a chicken too old to be laying eggs

or be of any taste

remind him that the seasons don't wait

then just get up and close the door

just like that—quick and final


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