Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Route 8, Pennsylvania (revised 6-4)

My sister sits behind the wheel of Betty,
our yacht, our silver Buick
and memories seep out of us like golden sap.

Remember how Dad used to burn
the webs of gypsy moths with his lighter?

With ribbons tied around their trunks,
trees were selected for cutting.

We made the sign of the cross as we watched the flame.

Remember how he set us on the backs
of horses that didn’t belong to us?

Our little legs felt the tickle of coarse hair
as mom stood behind the fence,

crooning Rhinestone Cowboy,
recalling her own Appaloosa pony.

Remember how we thought
I’d never be able to drive?

I’m quiet in the passenger seat.
No need to mention the fainting,
the unconscious stretches of silence.
All that blood to test, to fill up tiny tubes.

We miss our exit on the highway,
wind into the terrain with rivers
like open incisions between the hillsides.

I glance over as you run your fingers
over your scar, healed just above your heart.

This City (revised 6-1)

flips me upside down
shakes my ankles with rough hands

instead of loose change
I’m full of antique pearl buttons
red thread, and ticket stubs
for movies I haven’t seen

right-side-up and red-faced
I smooth my skirt against my thighs

I want to drift back
to the white of what’s left
the white where I began

and close the space around me
like petals in reverse

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sweet Season

who are we in this berry territory,
this forest meant for fur and eyes
that shine like marbles in the sun?

this sweet season yields melons,
syrup and sap, all of which
make sticky hands, sugary regrets.

the sun overhead rips my world into
skinny wisps of silk and burlap,
and weaves them into my hair.

if you could see me now, coated in light,
in the rainbows of oil spills,

I would kiss you as if cherries
grew in soft bundles in our fields,

as if tart meant something else.