Dark Lines Rising Like Flowers
The pleated starlight,
a camisole of mist
through ladders of branches, gathers.
I had forgotten the movement of night,
stars that tremble in the cold,
the things that spin white nests, moonlight,
and the moon, that living thing,
shimmering through the bedroom window
penetrating the ink ridden sky…
how day moves in, a squall of wings,
sunlight filtering through leaves.
I turn to look at you, your body on the bed
I want to hold in this light.
But something stops me, keeps my hands away.
I don’t want to move. I want to lie still, as
still as the world never is,
imagine the hesitancy we had before touching,
when only our breath reached forward,
when I felt most human not knowing anything about you.
Not waking you,
I can see the dark lines of night slip
out from underneath your legs, your hips,
unsheathing your chest,
your body chiseled like stone,
something the Gods made.
* * *
Just A Little Off The Top
She took a comb, measured the length of his hair,
fluffed it with her fingers, watched it fall
over his forehead and lay like a hedge
over the pink hubs of his ears. Tattoos snaked
along her elbow, coiled the entire length of her arm,
her hair--periwinkle, rose, African violet.
I liked her blue tennis shoes, the green lipstick,
the abandoned look of her clothes.
The stud in her tongue sparkled when she opened
her mouth, like an earring discovered
at the bottom of a drawer shimmering in the underwear.
I wondered what it must taste like-
her tongue sliding over the silver
stud like a stale dinner mint.
I think she’d be fun at a party,
the girl dancing on the table
with an olive in her bellybutton
and two striped straws to hold her hair up,
the one all the guys in the bathroom
would snicker about, and later, dream of touching.
I admired her handiness with the blow dryer,
her instinct with scissors,
the way she maneuvered around the chair
slightly brushing her patron’s arm with her razor,
her lips, tightening. That was exciting to watch.
How she jockeyed behind him,
curled the upper right side of her mouth, that green blown leaf,
pulled the tips of his hair as he looked in the mirror,
horrified, wanting her, eyeing her hands, waiting
for that final double rinse at the porcelain bowl,
her fingers dipped in hair wax,
watching her sweep the floor,
her undulant arm, the inked heart
ripening on her skin,
the one with the arrow through it.