And I fell for you
like the blossom
from the cherry trees
So, I’m a bad person because I smoke marijuana and I think sex is beautiful thing? Okay.
- guy: want to go out on a date?
- me: you're making fun of me
I am less than sad. Negative sad. I am looped
television laughter. I move through the trail
cloaked in bath water & the water never gets cold.
I shouldn’t be sad or sleep all day, I should lie
under the floorboards of our wagon, tell the spiders
to mind their distance, just swallow the poison.
i want to wrestle the bear that haunts your dreams
& eats our children. They are beautiful children,
in their hiking boots, climbing hills like they’ve
done this before, like they know why we sleep
on top of each other, so preious all of us humming
last spring. I want to lust for lust & your tongue
over my shoulder blades, but all I can think about
is building a snowman with your face on its white
frame. Your teeth look the best when you’re naked.
I close my eyes, count to ten thousand. I close my
eyes & forget why I closed my eyes. On the trail
everything smells green. You tell me I always want
to smell naked. A thief comes in the middle of the night,
leaves wild fruit, a note that says he found God
in a Wal-Mart parking lot. When we’re older I’ll lock
the front door of our house so tight the calcium
in our bones won’t be able to get out.” —The Oregon Trail is undergoing photosynthesis, Gregory Sherl
is different from the heat of summer.
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.
One is a dock you walk out on,
the other the spine of a thin swimming horse
and the river each day a full measure colder.
A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover.
Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,
rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser
by color. That’s autumn heat:
her hand placing silver buckles with silver,
gold buckles with gold, setting each
on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,
and calling it pleasure.” —The Heat of Autumn, Jane Hirshfield
seeming colder. i could peek
out the crawl-hole but if the entire
spinning earth’s imaginary i don’t want to know.
i have my pelts and visions
of you asleep in your summer skin loving
the deep heart of a tall grass prairie.
i have polar bears and snow
blindness. you have sunsets
striking the silent crows iridescent.
when they swoon to their own new beauty
and the chorus frogs kick in, do you think
of me thinking of you thinking of me?
i tell you what. if i had an albatross
i’d let it lift me like a message
to the jet stream just as the toothy flows
ingest our empty love-shell. you would know me
by the touch of ice on the tongue
of the wind. you would wait with a bouquet
of black feathers and the rest of
our story still warm on your lips.” —Andrew Michael Roberts, the moments before the crash landing are clearest
I slice oranges in the kitchen.
The countertop worn, notched
with the story of the knife.
I’ve been reading Ovid’s “The Cure for Love.”
You circle my waist with your arms —
kiss the back of my neck.
I remember who we were —
the girl and boy on the front porch
cooling our heels on our way
to the grave.
We believed we could make something
in the dark.
I wish you could see it, and I pray that you’ll feel it.
before its haunches thickened, its breath grew short,
before it found itself sitting,
perplexed and a little embarrassed,
on the fender of a parked car,
while many people passed by without turning their heads.
It remembers itself dressing as if for a great engagement.
It remembers choosing these shoes,
this scarf or tie.
Once, it drank beer for breakfast,
drifted its feet
in a river side by side with the feet of another.
Once it pretended shyness, then grew truly shy,
dropping its head so the hair would fall forward,
so the eyes would not be seen.
It spoke with passion of history, of art.
It was lovely then, this poem.
Under its chin, no fold of skin softened.
Behind the knees, no pad of yellow fat.
What it knew in the morning it still believed at nightfall.
An unconjured confidence lifted its eyebrows, its cheeks.
The longing has not diminished.
Still it understands. It is time to consider a cat,
the cultivation of African violets or flowering cactus.
Yes, it decides:
Many miniature cacti, in blue and red painted pots.
When it finds itself disquieted
by the pure and unfamiliar silence of its new life,
it will touch them - one, then another -
with a single finger outstretched like a tiny flame.