Poems, by Rebecca Lu Kiernan.
What will you give me for comfort
When my time comes?
A lock of your gently graying hair
In a ring box?
The seed of a plum?
A foil blanket for Ganymede's nights?
A recording of Mike and the Micros
Reluctantly singing "Summer Breeze" for tourists?
A holding tank for telepathic octopi on Carme?
Photographs of empty architecture
And broken statues of saints
From your rainy, solo trip to Europe?
A syringe for extracting
Immortality microbes on Metis?
Your rhombus, lavender rock star glasses?
A steel jar for gathering brainworms on Callisto?
A barking frog from from Blue Lake preserved in amber?
Intergallactical reply coupons for Thebe?
What will I send you for remembrance
When the earth's shadow falls between us?
The egg shell, bat-wing shirt you removed
With a whisper?
Tons of unmined, shark's eye silver diamonds
Beneath Europa's icy sea?
One splinter of a weeping willow?
Shape-shifting gold from Io?
A platinum sheet of lightning
From the storm we conjured
Naked on your back porch?
Sleep on it if you can,
And when I am irretrievably deep in space
In that quadrant you sketched from a dream,
Shrug off the sparking ghost of me
Drunk on your reluctant song,
High on your tentative smile,
Arching for your open mouth.
What will you embrace, aging rock star?
A cold post card of shadows
Eclipsing our old blue moon?
A molecule of your affection
Twitching in a formaldehyde pan
You thought about giving to me?
A Fuller Moon
He mentioned a few scant things
The month of our two full moons.
I hummed along, the tentative, blurry song,
Not really knowing the words,
Thinking the melody sounded like Home.
He disliked clothing tight at the wrist or neck.
He dreamed of being chased by lions.
He left the t.v. blaring for burglars
When he was
(He never thinks about growing old alone.)
He showed me places through the telescope
And spoke as if he owned those hostile planets,
But when it came to the blue moon
We didn't need magnification
We staggered out of his sleigh bed
Of dark cherry wood
And hovered on that blazing sky
Naked, luminous on that unlikely night.
He worried that my affection
Was riddled with demands.
The following month he swallowed hard,
Gazed at the floor
And mumbled he couldn't make any plans.
I remember once he said he didn't know
And mentioned he couldn't be sure,
But would I come over after the band's Friday set?
And would I bring my things
And stay the night?
So much of it, I have forgotten,
It's so easy to let it go,
The feel of his gently graying hair
Wet against my cheek,
His breath on the small of my back,
These things could be everyone, no one,
But I squealed and felt my soul rise
The time he whined through my fingers,
"I love to watch you come."
Beyond stained glass, hexagon windows
Shadows wilt stargazer lilies.
The moonfire night dares me
To take your trembling hand.
You play your faithful, cherry violin
In silence in a bar across town.
Bent cobalt willows finger the moonrise.
Thunder rolls violet clouds
To the brink of tears.
Your breath, wet on the back of my neck,
My nipples pulled long in your fingers,
My spread eagle stretch
Keeping your ghost from ascension.
||Rebecca Lu Kiernan's fiction has appeared in Azimov's Science Fiction, Ms.Magazine, Clean Sheets, Space and Time, North American Review and other books and magazines in the U.S. and in Australia. Her poetry collection, Sex with Trees and other Things Equally Responsive was published by 2River Press. Her erotic fiction, The Man who Remembered Too Much was published by Canada's Igdrasil. Her work has appeared in Offcourse numerous times.|
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