Winter 1992, Volume 9.1


Blue Girls of 1990
Nineteen straight days of October rain
chasten our world, most peculiarly
our woods, to a hazy impression
along the parkside where you paint.
But what is this pulpy blue? The great,
the near-great, the pseudo-great,
of Delft, of Capri, or China,
Italy, Dresden, or Prussia,
Pompeii, Denmark, or Persia?
Something sad, deadly, obscene,
something, do not ask me what, call it
aquamarine, invades and stiffens.

 Searching for Pocahontas
A match-flare and a glamorous
puff-ball gutter on a darkened air.
Someone playful, exotic, filmic
exhaling a grey fume.
Leaving the deep-six graveyard at Hatteras,
spendthrift as spindrift,
I blew myself to winding cloth-bolts,
woodwork buoyant as Queequeg's.
I spreed all day
among spreadout Tar Heels,
footloose in Ivanhoe and Calypso,
Tomahawk, Eureka, Comfort,
Tarboro and Mount Olive,
fetching up in Pocahontas.
At an evening meal of smoked flesh,
I stuck fast and watched a little hour,
spying from a vine-lashed gazebo.
On the breathless night air
I witnessed flares and puff-balls,
I eavesdropped on rasps
when she would snuffle,
smirch and smut the air
with hacking, rattling, furtive
last-gasp coughs.

Your scars are external. The one
you wear from the birth of your
son—by far—is your favorite; it
connects your navel to your pubic
hair like it was drawn to in-
struct medical students and never
erased. In the shower last night,
you guided my fingers to the seam
that keeps you closed. Are the
cuts that knives create easier
to endure? We stand without
speaking. The joined contours of
our bodies create new paths for the
water to follow. Silence can hide
scars, but you want certain moments
shared by us with the intrusion
of words. Our scars remind us that
we can repair almost anything that
works against us. I open my eyes
and watch a river follow the gully
of your spine.