Two Poems

by Rita Anderson


She Pictures Bees

        I.     Etiology

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.

        II.    Topography

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*

        *Rearview Mirror*

Far away, getting farther.

A decade lapses. . .

        III.    Analogy

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s