g i r l, e p h e m e r a l
I drank the rain like mandarin tea--
on a day like this,
and ran a comb through legions of stars,
--bit my lip, apologized
for the inconvenience
I fashioned a dress of autumn leaves,
dyed my lips a blackcurrant kiss,
enshrined chameleons in glass jars
with eyes cast down, immunized
against the iridescence
I murmured moon language clandestinely,
frenzied in open-fielded bliss,
oblivious to passing cars
with occupants drunk and scandalized
by my opalescence
I dreamed of you possesively,
heart-shaped face and lilac wrists
humming melodically unknown bars
of hymns to girls unrealized
in the dawn's translucence
M e a n d t h i s B o y - M a n
Wendy, I know your grief.
I've been dead too, in the land of the lost boys.
Yeah, Peter heard the rumor that I could sew shadows, solve puzzles with missing pieces and raise boys up.
The night I grew old, the curtain at the nursery window raised like heavy eyelids as he spun the sugar of himself around me.
My mother never warned me against boys that fly.
So I let him suckle at my breast;
I didn't tell him I owned umbilical shears.
All that jazz, second star to the right, straight on until mourning.
There were nights that I knotted our hammock alone, when the only sound in the treehouse was the echo of spent lovemaking.
Tigerlily once offered me the peace pipe, saying that men have been this way since before women breathed water.
She wasn't his only mistress--
there were these three nymphs down at the cove--
but it was she who made me so quiet that I feared that, over the voices of murmuring mermaids, he could hear me scratching to get out of my skin.
One morning I awoke to the certainty that the concrete belly stone preventing me from flying was instead the beginnings of a new pirate boy.
That night I blindfolded him in celebration.
Tinkerbell smeared a disguise down my throat that dripped into my voice.
I asked him, did he know who I was by the feel of my breasts?
They're too small to tell, he replied.
I laid my cheek in the hollow of his collarbone, letting the tears collect there, in the place where his skin is more corduroy than velvet.
And I asked him then, didn't you ever want a mother?
Wendy, it was you he cried out for.
My delicate hands could not scrub your memory from his skin.
He wanted you.
You, the mother of miscarriage.
I know your grief, because I, too, have lost more than just a boy.
And I curse myself still, because I know even now what I would give for even one more confederate kiss.
R u b a i y a t XLVII.
When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast.