Thursday, April 26, 2012

National Poetry Month 30 Poems in 30 Days Challenge, Poem #21

for Jane

We've heard so many of your stories, Scheherazade
  -sliced thin from your tongue to mine
  sweet rich, eye-collapsingly bitter, tangy spiced-
so many tales I remember as music
  -the late night music of folding chairs,
  played to an intent table filled with faces in your ally paneled room-
so many songs weaving one into the other
  -orchestral jazz, building motifs out of stray chords
   stretching chords like sinew, testing the limits of strength-
stories more tightly woven than tapestry.

I've spent so many night running my hands over your stories
  grabbing you characters by the shoulders
  shake them
  beg them to leave me to silence
Still they sing-
  filament eyed boys and the bird muses warbling
  the clove-breathed photo negatives kissing the housewives of the revolution
  the giddy soft and the defiant broken hearted writing home late at night, drunk
  all in a windows-down muppet-dancing singalong
  the same soulful symphony.

This is just to say
  let's peel our plum bruised skin back together
  examine the bones and ligaments.
Let me crack open my knuckle for you, look.
Now a femur, see there?
In the marrow, see your face?
  Not an image, not a Madonna formed on a window
  made of grease and Windex and slanted light.
See your face there, breathing?
See your stories, buried in my bones?
  I know I'm not the only one.

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