Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Monday, May 9, 2022

21


When she was arrested, she was wearing her baker boy hat
with the love poem tucked behind the inner band.
She had her backpack, her phrase book,
her connections and her suburban background.
Oh say can you see her falling like a shot bird, blood on the golden feathers?

She came to skate and got the slew foot boot,
a thump on the back and a smirking salutation.
By the dawn's early light I had thought her the world's most beautiful marvel
as she slept and her skin invited my kiss like a host catching the swaying guest.
I thought her a brown Sahara where it rains every afternoon
and the sun is stupid with lazy contentment.

She did business in cafes and book stores, where so proudly we hailed
the baristas and glasses-girls who chose the books we couldn't read.
From a distance she looked like a mistake, a wrong detail in a genius watercolor,
a runaway from another time, heads together with some local joker.
Time thickens when you get bad news. 
It's like a heart attack that takes all week.

I wrote her a poem as she slept, and the poem had a silver tongue.
It was something about Morr0ccan markets and calling peacocks,
an opium dream I cooked up stone cold sober except for woozy desire.
I tucked it in the inner band of her baker boy hat, folded with origami care.
I thought she would find it later, a swami love-joke to make her happy,
never knowing I would leave the country alone from a cold airport
by the twilight's last gleaming, the departures flipping over like a folded hand.
________

for qbit's excellent Akhmatova word list




6 comments:

qbit said...

That is fantastic. Weaving of the dream and failures of American protection and power in with a love poem, all tucked in a hat that is prelude to the opening like "When she was arrested", which sets everything else behind bars, or drinking in bars. This is phenomenal, along with so much else:

"From a distance she looked like a mistake, a wrong detail in a genius watercolor, / a runaway from another time, heads together with some local joker. / Time thickens when you get bad news. / It's like a heart attack that takes all week."

Especially this: "Oh say can you see her falling like a shot bird, blood on the golden feathers?" blows us out of our dream and leaves our feathers scattered on the pavement.

hedgewitch said...

I second qbit's remarks, and the quote he chose, tho all of this is the last gleaming of a twilight of youth and desire to me, dreams that remain vivid long after waking, but tell us nothing we can really understand or use. I especially love the image of the expression of love, folded like origami and hidden in the hat band. Beautiful writing, Shay. All your poems, especially those about love, have silver tongues.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What Joy and qbit said, silver-tongued indeed. LOVELY to read you. Your similes and metaphors are on a whole other level - I don't know how you do it, am just thankful that you do and we get to read your work.

Helen said...

~~ your poem induces wooziness (the good kind, like a swoon.) However do you imagine these flights of fancy! Never stop, Shay.

Carrie Burtt said...

I am delighted you wrote for Qbit's word list Shay and as always you poem is deep and wide as freedom, love, and the wars of life can be! I have some favorite lines but won't quote them. It was worth the wait as your amazing poetry always is!!

grapeling said...

in awe, as ever. especially the closing couplet of the 3rd stanza. but all of it ~