Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Mass of Radiating Nerves

It always seems like the closer I get to the end of the semester, the more I put off doing what I should be doing--grading final papers--to write poetry or short fiction. More recently, I've been focusing on the poetry.

The space between blood and bone

She sits beside me, relaxed, 
though a layer of weariness cloaks
her like a worn, familiar sweater
she can’t let go to Goodwill.
A small smile is the switch
bringing light to her dark brown eyes,
and she looks at me, whispers 
she is done with soul prostitution.
One hand rests on the place that beneath, 
past skin loosened from sacred creation,
past flesh protecting the space of possibilities,
is blood-warmed hope she planted, 
guards now like Cerberus
to keep safely inside where it roots,
can take hold, nurtured
until like ivy entwines
with bone, with sinew, swaddling
her heart, then spreading 
into her limbs unchecked
until orange ribbons exit 
through her fingers, through her toes
and swirl like tendrils of smoke
around her, a gentle embrace 
keeping good her promise. 

This is another one of those poems that came from an image that developed in my mind as I sat thinking about the solar plexus (for some reason I am fascinated by the idea of a mass of radiating nerves in the abdomen), life, and love.

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