Monday, January 29, 2007

Poetry by Lyndsie Stremlow

Your Words Fall Gently All Around You

I do not want to hear
"You have skin of milk
and hair of honey..."
But I do want to hear it.

How much dead sky
is there between desire
and the soul,
how many corpses of rats
and pigeons?

I have not seen the sea,
but your eyes
drown me in my own reflection.
Your words fall gently
all around you,
but land as dead
bird wings in my lap.

I have seen your hands
across the table,
fingers folding
as they did on my face.
Your lovely angular hands
smelling of smoke
and mingling with the taste
of night air.

I do not want to tell you,
"You are made of vast eyes, and light..."
But I do want to tell you.


What we are really
doing is perpetually
skating around one another
out of fear of closeness
and of loss.
We are forever spending
our energy
seeking refuge
from all the possible
seasons of love,
wanting only the most vibrant,
and fruitful, but shunning
the quiet, the cold, the skeletal,
the gray seasons.

The first time I loved,
I loved steadfastly,
without cowering
from the many sorrows,
nor the overwhelming

I stood bare of body
on a jagged cliff,
staring out over the whole
of man, flashing my naked badge
at every cavern,
at every abyss...


After he always
wanted to hold me
because he knew
how to love and desire
simultaneously where I did not.
I would lie as still
as possible, his legs and arms
lined up perfectly with mine,
and sometimes we would talk
or listen to trains
from the window.
I always knew it would end,
that I never knew
how to care for an orchid.

He brought me a bouquet
of big white flowers
when I left him.
The note inside said
he understood mistaking
the complexity of love for confusion.
For weeks I forgot to water
the flowers
They died on our kitchen
table, later to be easily
tossed out with boxes
and empty bottles.

He Sleeps Silently As I Write

This is a house and a tomb
of pictures and poems hanging the room.
The boy sleeping warmly in his skin
was gone, but I thought of him
every day, at least once.
Now he sleeps silently as I write.
The day turns this tomb to night.
I've learned not to fight the shadows.

I've worked, made love, walked aimlessly
through the shit-stinking streets
and stone forests flowering
under concrete skies.
Like a bird building its ornate nest,
I've come to this room to await death
and lovers, and friends...
More than once I've taken men
I barely know into my bed
and tangled myself in their limbs.
In the morning it's always the walls
I wake to first, if not the child
wailing on the stairwell.
Waking to the world is hell-
it is a hell made of vacuous schedules,
paper money, and a stinking sense of obligation.
Waking at all is masturbation.

My mother insists that I quit smoking.
She says I'll never get a husband
if I ruin my teeth.
But, I tell her, I have a husband
I haven't spoken to in months,
and every day, at least once,
I've thought of this boy asleep in my bed.
I've watched the pulse breathing in his neck
for at least an hour now.

My mother insists that I quit smoking,
And it haunts me so that I can't forget
her scornful face as I finish another cigarette.

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