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Harryette Mullen

A Brand of Love

I want her superstitious about me,

so she put me on like an amulet—

never take me off.


I want to pierce her like a hot needle

that hurts only for a second.

I want to be the gold

she hang in her earlobe,

swinging out to touch her cheekbone

when she laugh

or when she shake her head.


Want her wearing my smell like perfume.

My smell on her body

like a “No Trespassing” sign.


I want to touch her with fire

from the burning bush

so she’ll always feel my fingers

hot on her skin.


Easter Colors

for Easter Pittman, who pieced the quilt

would it be safe to wash this quilt?


it smells like an old lady’s attic

but it is so beautiful

even dirty


the colors are joining hands and dancing

a pattern repeating itself


it reminds me of Busby Berkeley musicals

the geometric dances

k a l e i d o s c o p i n g colors

squares   triangles   diamonds   and stars



the patterns

your greatgramma made

pieced-together colors from clothes

handed down

and down again

till no one else could wear them

a pattern repeating itself


tonight we add to attic memories

wrapped in the warmth of this quilt

the new/old smell of our sleep

old clothes odors

smells of beds and bodies

they the music the colors be dancing to

the patterns repeating


would it be safe to wash this quilt?

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