Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Status Update

Every once in a while as a poet you produce a poem that you feel like you didn't really write, but instead just happened to be holding the pen while it came through you. Below is one of the those kinds of poems for me, like all the technical aspects were internalized and I was just spouting pure poetry. It may be the fastest I've ever written any poem. I'm sure it can use some polishing, but there's plenty of time for that. Anyway . . .


Once I was homeless
staggering down dark hallways
to snore in a sterile stairwell
where I dreamt your lips
kissing along my collarbone.
In the dream
your voice is cashmere
brushing my earlobe,
girlish and high
as Barbies on a shelf.
The curve of your spine
makes the small of your back
a jewelry box.
Like a snake, my tongue
can taste what will moisten
when I release its secret latch
and finger the velvet lining.
I have fallen down
enough bushy hillsides
to know how water
shimmers into a pool below.
I trace my name
in the sheen
on your inner thigh
Doesn't the forecast
of the first gasp
call for a firestorm in the brain
followed by a heavy downpour,
then the slow rhythm
of bright beads dripping
from eucalyptus leaves?

I have heard
that after the Autumn Equinox
you become Persephone
white knuckling the rail
of a long escalator
into a dark depression.
If, as we lay tangled as strands
of just washed hair
I held up a sliver of mirror
to reflect your laughter,
would it be sunlight enough
to seed the ceasing
of your smallest sorrows?

Or would it suffice
if you knew now
that last night
I slept again in a stairwell,
wrapped tight in the ragged
overcoat of my imagination
and felt the soft feet
of a nude descending
the staircase of my spine,
that her lips wore only a light gloss,
that this creaking morning
I'll stagger and stumble still,
but wearing her lip prints
like a necklace of light
whose gauzy glow hallows
whatever ground I cross?
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