Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tongue

When I was ten, my dad
pot-roasted a cow’s tongue.
He brought it to the table on a platter,
unsliced, open: a chaise lounge, red and velvet,
slip of the lip to swallow us whole.

The tongue is a door,
a bed of confession,
zipper to seal the deal.

There is a jade plant on my window sill.
Its many tongues sip silent molecules:
water vapor, nitrogen, cool pool in the Kalahari.
Tongue as cave,
as conveyor, as flight of brown bats.

Tongue holding space between us,
gilded and strong with hope and death -
a pocket for everything.

Last night a snag of locust
blew down over chicken wire.
Five hens escaped.
The snag, a tongue to freedom,
to better pickings, a generous ledge.

Sometimes a tongue wags, ungenerous,
it keens to ten fingers times twenty
dangling over a hand-hewn gunnel.

There were children in that boat,
fleeing with family over turquoise water.
Maybe it was the Mediterranean
or cold Aegean Sea -
a wide tongue to crack their lips with salt.

Tongue tied were ragged ropes of souls,
Idiom of bodies below,
broken passage licking its wounds.

I clinched my lips tightly at the news,
still Luna months want to dust my teeth.
I stick out my tongue,
no black magic here,
only spring board for prayers.

Tongue as mother, a heavy curtain,
weighted in deep allegiance. She 

may hold a secret, but she has no bones.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

portrait of light and perfect sound

The night sulks, trespassed 
by halogen dazzle
racing through red railing.
An  edgy glare to curtain the stars.
The night glowers, and lucky us, 
witness to a magical thinking,
empathic and shining,
wordless like resting breath,
the morning grass, moonlight on water,
coyote’s patient hunger.

The day hung mired in dogwood winter, 
a cool flood of yellow pollen: 
Bradford Pear, everywhere.
Each surface, a granular umbrage.
The day, abuzz in bees knees,
felt genuflection to forsythia
and honeysuckle, long limbs,
maple and sweet. We come pink 
with desire to a night, 
snake-skin fragile, glacial and deep.

The wolf hours grow wrinkled,
long in the tooth, flabby with 
nettles and bothered stars.
The love songs of toads hide here.
In a moment, harpooned with sirens,
the wind is flimsy and flat,
no song in its piney tresses.
We squat sepia-speckled, chagrin,
you turn off the light. The night is reconciled, 
the dazzle undone, shadows lean in.

An old man listens, 
a wife dozes on joints arthritic.
Night rides her like a Mississippi
barge, low in dark water.  
Their years, carnelian, have made burrows 
in the bed linens, ivory line-dried.
To the old man, rain on tin was
the perfect sound, but tonight
he changed his mind as she rolled over,
her moans a trellis of doves, 
miracle of bodies so small for timbre so deep.