by Rita Anderson
She Pictures Bees
They are meeting for the first time. Young,
he is drunk on the easiness of things
as if he were a small country and his guests
cities he had already swallowed.
A familiar song plays. An unknown season,
she enters, fresh from elsewhere.
An acre of corn, he thinks.
Her thoughts are whales, but she has
only played at passion and she is deep
in her body’s heat when she sees him.
(Heart, he wants to say, to make it less
crude. More profound, her body
a rattle he can’t shake.) He circles
her as they gentle other partners.
A mating dance of distance.
It is Autumn in his eyes. Harvest, he
hums, his mouth bubbling.
Radishes and ferns fall from her head,
her soul too full to speak. Their
bodies–singing like tuning forks–do not touch.
It is summer of a first year, gardenias oozing.
Last night, she whispers. (Frightened
of the words, she is more afraid to hold them
any longer.) When you put your mouth on me
*butterflies and lizards weave in and out
from between her coral lips* It was Ocean.
He thinks *Hourglass* Stopwatch*
Far away, getting farther.
A decade lapses. . .
A tropical honeymoon, his. Emptied glasses,
paper umbrellas limp against the side.
If there was music once it no longer plays,
life—a brochure of a beach paradise.
Desert, he thinks.
He has an appetite and the attention span of a fly,
but a woman shades his side and
he is bound to her. Feelings, he muses, recalling
the Girl Who Smelled of Cloud and Sky,
are long stretches in the merciless sun and, love, sunglasses
that slide off of your face.
Fair to Midland
[is a Corn-Crop Measure]
Monday, I dreamt you took me hostage.
Lisa the Flirt had baked you a birthday cake
months after the actual date
and I had followed her to your place
as I would follow anyone.
She rang the bell seven times
when you hadn’t had time to answer
the first. Once inside, she bobbed around
doing a bad Scottish Sword-Dance
in the hiking boots she wore year round.
she rested the cake on plates you had
drying in the sink (I heard dessert sliding and
badly wanted a bite) when you grabbed her
and lanced her spine. Although she fell into the cake,
I still wanted some and contemplated it
too long because there was your face
hungry for the witness in me.
I insisted that I had not used the pool
as a restroom, but you told me that
you saw my soul for the egg it was,
sold on a depressed market, and that
I should take comfort in my broken life,
a rut ripe for a seed like you.
Tuesday, I woke with W’s in my hand,
head emptied of abracadabra.
Rita Anderson, an award-winning playwright and poet, was poetry editor of Ellipsis (literary publication, University of New Orleans), and her debut chapbook, The Entropy of Rocketman, is published with Finishing Line Press. Rita won the Houston Poetry Festival, the Gerreighty Prize, the Robert F. Gibbons Poetry Award, the Cheyney Award, and an award from the Academy of American Poets. Her poems have been published in Spoon River Poetry Review, EVENT Magazine (British Columbia), The Blueshift Journal, Blotterature, Words Work, Transcendence, PHIction, Persona (50th Anniversary Edition), The Artful Mind, Di-Verse-City: An Austin Poetry Anthology, Inflight Magazine (Paper Plane Pilots Publishing), DLC Literary Journal, Cahoodaloodaling, The Stardust Gazette, The Longleaf Pine (The Midwood Press), and Explorations (University of Alaska Press). Contact Rita at http://www.rita-anderson.com