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vaalski

July 2012

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vaalski: (Default)
Twelfth Night

I remember the day we burned the trees, reeking

of pine, our clothes scattered

with sap and needles, the heels

of our boots braced against the trunk to help us

saw the firs to pieces, freeing

the ghosts of witches from their limbs and boughs. That night

we watched as they went up in smoke, my hand

in yours, the stars all bright and cold, the new year

laid out like roads before us.

vaalski: (Default)
Aubade (in progress)

My lover makes me breakfast in the dark, four
a.m., me shivering in boots
and breeches, the sun not even up, helmet
tucked between my knees and hair half-braided. 

(And her in flannel shirt and pants, a blanket
wrapped around her shoulders,
squinting without glasses into oatmeal
coming to a boil.)


--

I've been working with variations on the first line, tossing it around in an idle fashion, for a while now (one is here). This is the farthest I've gotten with it, and if it works out I'm planning a companion piece called Evensong. I think this is still very rough. There's another stanza or two that I don't know yet. 
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vaalski: (Default)
In this world I will be the beast I want--shoulders
maned and heavy, hips narrow, tail swinging, spotted
brutality and brawn. I will choose 
sisters and my mate, touch
the flanks of brothers with my nose. Together
we will drive our enemies before us. Call me
hyena-mother, warrior, careless and ignorant 
of everything but what and who is mine. 
vaalski: (Default)
Safe Passage

In one motion the door open, hips against
the seat, the engine coughing over, Jim
up front and the boys in back,
half-falling in, all of them drunk
and laughing, the rocking half-wild swing
of long-limbed weight in darkness--

--and me with fingers checking radio and dials,
reaching up to ask safe journey from the feather 
hanging down to brush my cheek, all this as I
breathe in, then let it go. With one
hand I drop the brake, and with the other 

flick the lights as I back up. In
the yard across from mine, the Virgin
Mary sudden-spotlit in the winter grass, hands
and face and rounded belly
half-shadowed, or half-worn.
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vaalski: (Default)
 Gray Goose Winter

Snow falls like eiderdown and so do I. 
White ices fenceposts and my feathers.
I snap my wings out wide and drop
into space. My flock is already gone. 

White ices fenceposts and my feathers. 
It's hard, keeping aloft -- the cold presses me
into space; my flock is already gone. 
Some far south, some below the snow. 

It's hard. Keeping aloft, the cold presses me.
Either way I will not see them again --
some far south. Some beneath the snow.
I tilt my wings and plummet down.

Either way I won't see them again. 
There will be no last migration. 
I tilt my wings and plummet down. 
The ground is hard, the river ice. 

There will be no last migration.
I snap my wings out wide and drop.
The ground is hard. The river, ice. 
Snow falls, like eiderdown. And so do I.
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vaalski: (Default)
The water thrusts me towards it, until
I am ankle-knee-hip deep,
mouth already tasting salt, hands
cupping up the liquid as if
there is no other choice, small ripples
cresting on my skin, muscles
tight and shivering against the cold, sand
pulling at bare feet, reluctant toes. It takes
everything not to fall down into buoyancy, let
the ocean overtake me, 
waves breaking down a body
(no more than bones and meat
and sun-scarred skin) that is
no longer fully mine, letting something
out to swim and twist and sink
as wind and tides will let it, within
the boundaries of the blood-deep sea.
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vaalski: (Default)
Naked knees locked together, we are lying
flat on our backs with books
on our bellies. We talk
in line length and rhythm - we stare up
at the ceiling, our hands pushing 
into the empty air between us.
The fan flickers light-patterns
over the walls and your body. The bed
groans beneath us, the heat
presses our hips and shoulders down
against the mattress, your fingers
tangle in the sheets. 



Not anywhere near done - this is, I think, all leadup to what the poem is actually about. Still. I will work on it later.
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