Thursday, May 10, 2018

Night Support

You will argue that it's none of my concern
who you embrace,
what fruit your mouth accepts and expresses
as the pulp and sweetness of your desire.

Doesn't sick soil poison every leaf?
Doesn't richness bless every bloom?

I am the Quantifier and Keeper of Carnal Particulars.
The muscle of his shoulder beneath your cheek
 two Novembers ago?
Bin 47, lot 5.
The dusky sound of her woodsmoke voice
on a bridge above the river on a night last July?
Shelf 21B, Warehouse 2, Compound A.

You just wait.
Let that grating emptiness come over you when you're alone
remembering his paint-stained fingers
or the caramel curl of her hair.
You'll need to retrieve it then,
more than blooms need stems,
sharp as a outcasts need warm mercy.

There I'll be,
rolling my cart to space 4G7 in the auxiliary bay,
requisitioning the very thing you need,
sending it out,
replacing it,
maintaining inventory and your equilibrium.

I'm good at what I do
because I understand need and weakness and lack.
Envelope G, in file B7GK4
should contain your wicked smile,
the angle of your teeth, your lips,
your tongue,
and the 27 catalogued effects they had on my dissolving bones.

Inventory shows them on-hand,
but though I search your name, 
your skin,
your scent,
I can't find any particle of you;
just a ringing emptiness
and this paltry job to fill it.
______ 

for "job title" at Toads.

When I was in the USAF, I worked night support in a warehouse, finding aircraft parts for delivery to the flight line. I drew on that, for this.

14 comments:

Cloudia said...

Gosh I love your facility with words!

Rommy said...

This is magnificent. I am impressed how you took the main conceit and spun it into this sweet ache of a poem. Impressive, as always.

willow_switches said...

I am the Quantifier and Keeper of Carnal Particulars.
(indeed! really? ;) )

what fruit your mouth accepts and expresses
as the pulp and sweetness of your desire.

The muscle of his shoulder beneath your cheek
two Novembers ago?

There I'll be,
rolling my cart to space 4G7 in the auxiliary bay,
requisitioning the very thing you need,
sending it out,
replacing it,
maintaining inventory and your equilibrium.

and the 27 catalogued effects they had on my dissolving bones.


it's an interesting layering here - between the hard core factual, the data, parts replacement, and then adding in the "human" element - the need for faces, tastes, love - nurturing ...

those lines were the ones I most liked, but as a whole, this works itself as it must .... with a subtle play, back and forth, back and forth, a hypnotic rhythm that almost lulls, but thankfully, doesn't - because there is an "edge" .... yes, indeed, very interesting effect.



Robert Bourne said...

the way you used the prompt was impressive... so many great lines all of which added layers...I must admit I am in awe of your job title... :)


I am the Quantifier and Keeper of Carnal Particulars.

Gillena Cox said...

Fantastic write, clever turn of phrases

much love...

Toni Spencer said...

I am the Quantifier and Keeper of Carnal Particulars...yes ma'am you are. A write that includes whimsy, sensuality, and nurturing. Impressive.

Kim Russell said...

My favourite job title so far: Quantifier and Keeper of Carnal Particulars!

hedgewitch said...

Lots of lines worthy of a quote, but like most of your poems, it is also a faultless whole that builds the color shape and entire concept of its kite, and has its own wind to fly it--my favorite was " You'll need to retrieve it then,/more than blooms need stems..." How many nights I've lain awake doing just that, yet it never seems to have the same weight or shape, let alone elusive fragrance--my keeper must not be as good as the one here. More beyond-my-vocabulary-of superlatives writing here, Shay.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh, the bitter, bitter end... I could not read this poem without a lump in my throat.

qbit said...

That's fantastic.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is fabulous. I especially like "the 27 catalogued effects they had on my dissolving bones".

Jim said...

Nice title for an exacting job. I like the way you've borrowed on flower garden plant life for your description. BTW, "sick soil poison" reminded me of the 'rabbit and deer repellant' we spray on our flowers. Not poison but very pissy smelling.
..

brudberg said...

I love the way of that inventory... somehow I try to find a librarian inside myself, especially when it comes to the carnal parts.

But most of all the last lines... can you loose your name among the titles?

Frank J. Tassone said...

A magnificient write! Love the vivid imagery, and your extended metaphor works so well! :)