Aught, no. 11/12 (2003)


Corinne Lee

Lacuna

Believe the wind—its ethos
is the flexing instant. A certain element
of the vague and blank. Like my passion for you,
for anyone, which at root
has a wiped slate face, featureless
but for one

keyhole mouth (black, kiss/limitless). The specific
is a desiccant. Let's be wary
of whales, which can listen

to a mate's song
for hours, memorize
every arabesque and shimmy,
then replicate the melody flawlessly
a year hence. Not much later,

the repeaters are beached, reducing to bone
from exaction. They have learned
there is no fleeing
life's large, ambiguous
monster weep. So, please concede:

Your sex is not merely you,
but also all violets, and our hands have pasts
as feet. We'll then love with enormity,
joining all deer who,
without precision or diction,
lift their heads
from clover and see
straight through you, me.

 

 

Griselda

                      I. School
                     II. Manner
                    III. Mannerism
That has been the footpath
of our love. I've always specialized
in skimming kisses
across the least suitable,

of which you are a prime member—
all for my thrill
of Piccadilly flirt-us. Yet now there is a fontanel,
cooing and crested

with auburn down, filling
my breasts' cleft. Day-old colostrum
like nougat
on her slightly older chin. Both pinnacle and vortex,

she is. Will always be. Sure, I can't take a dream
family's balm-driven weather
with me. So I won't breathe
this stale air,

will deny vipers seethe
around our frame. Sometimes we must playact
with mask grins, hide
behind rain.

 

 

Abduction Certitudes

Abduction of Ambition
Why is the other half
of life's algebraic
always bovine, internetted?
Since we reside in a garden,
there is no purpose
but pollen. Admitted: the mosses
have philosophized
for millennia, but they remain
stump-stunted. Hallelujah
for our ragged vegetable plot
and your holy labor of treehouse
beneath redbud languor,
feathering mesquite. Why strive
for more than this, my love?
Let us be lengthy,
orange when ripe.

Abduction of Unbridled Passion
On rose days, our kin
are sugarcane. Honeyed supper rites.
How deftly the familiar
can kindle, but worry this:
Have our bricklayers completed
all calculations?
Once a hearth is built,
it is never distant. Surely, elsewhere,
all is honeycombed
with entrances
to rapture. And, if able
to touch you, uncensored
by children's yelps,
my fingertips would
be rising lakes, spilling. Slaking.

Abduction of Youth
Shush, accept my tongue. An apéritif.
An aspirin. Our robes
part to admit the dimming moon,
then wink forward
our middle-aged stomachs
of the parental. Late fall. We point
our toes into the elsewhere. Our silver,
fathomless beneath, surfaces
more easily now,
but generally hides­­
just as next week's thoughts
lurk within today's, and the antique way
we will someday love
skulks in us now.

Abduction of Dry Toast
Cool cereal of domestic dawns,
tepid porridge of dusk. Eyeless
and floating, the grains butting up
against bowls, sinking
with too candied
saturation. Living in soup
and consuming it, like fish.
Do the dimensions
of her world
amaze the sea cow, or
is every estuary
just another larder? Yet offshore
from the familial,
we would be driftwood atop sea skin, bumping
each other raw, pain-noisemaking
a cappella.

 

 

A Leprechaun's Lexicon

is not different from ours, but his worldview
is pregnant, steeped

in large. We want the wee
rattling in ownership's silk purse. But I'm not your fleece.

I'm not your flame. If there is no real Possession
or Other, then is everything

Merge? Might as well ask,
What is the shape

of space? The reply comes off
in our hands. The troubles are these:
All meaningful fuels are flammable.
Milked veins are scar rust.
Heroes eat hamburgers, just like us.

And by now, we have made the full arc: electronics.
farm as factory. divestiture

of the spirit. Global,
the slip-on-the-banana-peel club! Yet the history

of atoms is romantic, so love
can be made on the phone. Talk quickly. Disconnect, wait eons,

then hold me like your soul. Ah, my love, the velocity
of unknowing is slow.

 

 

Quail

before my gaze—that of a panopticon, film producer's couch.
So vigilant in its slap-happy
adoration

of you. Our post-prandial, post-love flamingo flush.
Quilt-coddled, we watch
a male wood thrush wheeling, not only outside
the window,
but also within our veins,

woo-warbling songs
like wicks. Beneath his chant, your wife's station wagon
bends back, seeking. Returning.
That fine gravel pings
off the road. Fall's leaf smoke slips in,

a blue gravy
on our tongues. Conceded: The world,
once returned to, will be spiny, a stockade. Why not, instead,
wear paint for clothes? We could love each other

in huts of mud,
palm thatch. Yet while we fly there, over the forest,
we look down. One speckled, brown bird
who calls tut-tut-ee-ay-ee. And nothing
but fire.


Copyright 2003, by the author. All rights reserved.
Return to Aught, no. 11/12, contents