Bing Cherries, Purple Plums
Anatomy, Pathology, this building reeks of death.
Long past the sudden reaching for breath,
The astonished grunt or surprising sticky warmth
They lie, a hand, a foot, a gleaming eye
Dreaming within its clever fringe of lash.
The dark comes on so early now.
We skitter across the parking lots
Keeping our thighs together,
Holding ourselves with our own arms
In damp November chill.
We are so frail.
I need summery arms, sure and alive,
The scent of Sea and Ski,
Your mouth, what it must have,
Your voice, that wordless growl.
The twist of urgency, your face
Hard against my brow.
Summer will come, oh, say it will
With those heaped stands beside summer roads
Gleaming cherries, mounds of grapes, purple plums
All the tight-skinned fruit that bursts and runs
And we will have sun and sun and Queen Anne’s lace
And violins and metal drums
And we will not remember
This dank, basement November scent
Down where the air is bad.
Formaldehyde, formaldehyde, when did these lungs know breath?
Pathology, Anatomy, these pickles stink of death.
Moist and breathy, sticky-handed, patting
The wind swung around, last night.
The porchscreens are disconsolate.
The Gulf breathes thicker air and gives off mist.
The cutweeds sway and list and sibilantly break
Beneath this strange assault.
We were so strong
Pajamas inside our jeans
All winter long, cursing this broken house
Bulwarked against the north.
But who could fight off this pitiless unknowing?
This incessant, soft demand?
Damp and busy
Persistent as a two-year-old
The wind swung around in the false dawn, today.
The Gulf breathes heavily. The house
Leans, groaning, into the north.