Three Poems, by Rebecca Lu Kiernan.
Matinée in Red Leather.
His long hair is the color of crême brulée
The texture of September Gulf sea weed,
Wet, body temperature tentacles
I whimper, "Look at me when you come."
There is the fear of getting tangled up,
Being taken under.
Someone coughs in the dark theater,
Gives me a contraction.
I don't want to faint
On this sugar-glued cement floor.
I soak his alien skin,
His eyes, now, amphibian,
I can't find my shoes.
Barefoot on the sidewalk
It starts to rain.
Marti Gras confetti gets caught
Between my toes.
One more place
Your ghost can't get its hands on me.
Yet another curtain closing off
The memory of being human.
The Cold Sleep
I kiss the seashell-framed sienna photograph
Of us on the otherworld beach,
Dance one more with your hologram
Which I have programmed to be butter-fingered
So I can laugh one last time.
As the drugs sink their teeth in
I imagine some day I will find you
No worse for the wear
Through the soup of space and time.
I could terraform our old poison world,
Clone you from one lock of your wheat blonde
Hair on your turquoise brush,
Love without mercy,
Fuck in public places without shame,
Abandon you on some cannibal colony
Walk android-like in the freezing rain
Of some alien planet
Where there are pills to erase
Memories of betrayal
And no translation for your name.
"I can't go on without you!
I bellow just below the level of perception
Behind my stone gray scarf
In a downtown sidewalk crowd,
So tentatively my boots do not part the snow,
Surprised my breath does not fog
This icy afternoon.
I can't go on without your footprints
Beside mine on our sugar white beach,
Without your guitar beneath the willow,
Your tie-dyed robe over hazelnut coffee,
In the absence
Of your necklaces of sea shells and starling feathers,
Your slow bronze fingers
Washing my hair
In the French antique claw-footed tub.
"I can't go on without you!"
I screech to the oblivious bundles,
But faces zig-zag by.
What is left?
I try to buy croissants, thread for sewing, pears
With what I think of as my hands
Remembering the one goosefleshy thing
A ghost consistently forgets.
Rebecca Lu Kiernan is the editor of the print literary magazine, Gecko. Her fiction has appeared in MS Magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction, Space and Time, North American Review and other journals. Her collection of erotic poetry, Sex with Trees and Other Things Equally Responsive was published by 2 River Press, her collection The Man Who Remembered Too Much by Ygdrasil Press. Her poems have appeared several times in Offcourse.
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