Escape Into Love
In Matters of Love
Yours is an ox’s heart —
slow, determined, but
strong enough to move
any load as far as needed
with a perfect knowing of
moment and place and how
it is you mean to let go
Dear Sir, I seem to be marooned
by your feet, consumed by your
marmalade tongue and I desire
a dollop of your marigold mouth
Dear Sir, I am at sea
from your emollient ingredients of scent
oh greedy oh me
the gentle rope of your marjoram throat
oh explore me
Dear Sir, I seem to be ready
for your engrossing explorations
ready for your lip-scope your reckless
and rote ready to slip upon your
Dear Sir, I am lost
within the gypsy-moth eyewings
of your flutter your rustling I am
keenly aware of that sultry thumb and entrancing
unmentionable of your
your disarray Dear Dear Sir
I am ready to be lattice for your delicious leathering
I am ready to be dictionary to your opening word
To have you float in me, Dear Sir
I am ready
Dating Your Absence
When you disappeared from my life,
the space you left behind
proved surprisingly receptive to my affections.
The absence of you is punctual in its arrivals,
and never too busy
for coffee at Kopi, or dancing at Late Bar.
It has your shoulders and wears all your favorite shirts.
It likes vegan Thai food and the B-52s as much as I do,
and never gets sick of talking about Doctor Who.
It gets along with my family and it knows
all our stories — and as a bonus,
it doesn’t point out my exaggerations when I tell them.
The absence of you has become so familiar
it’s getting to feel like it’s always been there.
The only thing it doesn’t do is smell like you;
once I tried spritzing it with what’s left of your cologne,
but the scent merely dispersed into the air
as a fine mist
and then faded away,
like it didn’t know where to find you now.
That Gray Sheet, That Song
This is how we love, on a gray sheet
in the day’s late bed. You lay
three fingers across my ghost hip.
They curl and drift below my ribs,
where nothing grows
for long. I turn. This is how
an instrument makes sound:
at the end of a horn, lips flare.
Your bones’ tough blues and wit
climb through my years. Ours
is that song: brass, spare—
cut daffodil, stem lost in blue glass. You wish,
I miss: this music shines, rises
through the flower, out
the gold hour’s mouth: ours
is that trumpet, that kiss.
[from Book of Asters, forthcoming in 2014 from Mayapple Press]
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