We arrive at the hotel like royalty— remembered, waved through the sea breeze of halls and floors to our room, a welcome platter of fruit, chilled bottle of wine, a card—that’s all it takes to pull off our clothes, shower, sit on the balcony white-robed, watch the waves rolling toward us until they roll all the way in and we let go the body that struggles, let anything and everything swim out of us, follow a dark fin far and away from the old shore, the sea surging, filling my mouth with its need to be tasted—salt lick, tongue slick with the eloquence of stars.
I’m so happy to have this poem appear in Blue Heron Review’s Issue 16, whose theme was Sanctuaries & Places of Peace, along with almost 50 others! Big thanks to editor Cristina Norcross! I’ve pasted my poem here for ease of reading (since my poem is nine from the end) but here is the link to the whole issue, so many nourishing poems to enjoy: https://blueheronreview.com/bhr-issue-16-spring-2023/
In the cathedral of this forest while birds sing unseen from the vaulted shadows, I sit in the hand-carved pew of a sawed-off cedar trunk and think about last night’s
argument, a congregation of notes falling, rising, coins of light clinking into the basket: the dappled adagio that ministers a tight staccato heart.
Century-old trees stand like mossed-over crosses unbroken in their silence, upholding the climb of secrets: the whispers about living on what’s left over from
the cacophonous demands of a day, the scraping of those plates to give again what is left over, love quietly shrinking from the beginning to the end of a word, pursed lips praying but little abiding as prayer.
Yet here, in a green profusion the curling ferns, the pungent earth and the soaring branches cannot hold all the love that grew them, nor can the birds so tirelessly singing, nor my dog chasing a squirrel chasing a squirrel.
The math is simple. There is no subtraction. Love’s pulse is steady and it loads the woodland table, as it must, even now, heap a forgotten room in us.
Another poem that first appeared in the Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art in 2017. My thanks again to editors Veronica Golos and Catherine Strisik for including it.