Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A poem for two voices with John Bellinger, continuing

Here are the next installments of the poem for two voices I am working on with John Bellinger, editor of Comstock Review:

Two Voices


It was always your hair at first,
the raven and bright of it,
the way it understood the wind
even faster than skin,
they way it let the sun come in,
even tucked
behind your ear
with that most perfect
of delicate gestures.

And your eyes,
lion gold
in the morning.


It was your legs, and the soft adobe light
that surrounded you, a cactus light
always dawning. Your antelope legs, leaps
evident in your stride, your thighs lean
with wanting, with a frightening hunger
I wanted to run from
to answer
to paint into every canvas
edged with prickly pears, horned
lizards and chameleons.

Your eyes were the light
just above the horizon. I thought I knew chameleon light,
but I was wrong.


We play this game, I tip my hat,
I gentle my betrayals.
I am enchanted with your movement,
the long stretch of your elegant calves,
your vixen heat, the wanton,
the taut of you.

There is a place I want to take you – there,
over there, a place that we can make
in the crackle and warm of the landlord's kitchen,
magnets on the 'frig --
I left a bowl of bluets
on the counter by the sink.

Here we can lie
and make our bed.
My place for you,
tender where the night is cold,
tender in the threadbare
where we lie spooned in the shiver of midnight.


We play a game where we walk in and out
of each others eyes, into sunny spaces where smiles
splash rainbows on the ceilings and walls.
Splash rainbows on our faces.
Look at them shimmer.

We're alike in so many ways! I list
them, over and over, collect
them to make bouquets, palpable
as magnets on the fridge, the little dog,
the shoe, like a monopoly pieces,
fragrant as the tiny flowers
that spill like milk from the bowl
by the sink. Tangible as the our breath,
forming icy feathers
on the glass beside the bed.

This eagerness overwhelms me.
I can't stop touching you. My hands
are birds that flutter
around the gift of your skin, the sunlit warmth
of you. Even in this cold barrenness,
in the dark and dank of it,
you smell like summer.
I bury my nose in your skin.

Each of us is writing from our own personal experience and playing off the other. Everything I write about love is a love poem for Keith. However, this one is destined to become dark, so maybe it shouldn't be for Keith afterall. To fall though darkness and hopefully rise again. Let me know if you want to try another of these. We're doing it exclusively via email.

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