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August 19, 2016 | Poetry

Three Poems

Sayuri Ayers

Three Poems photo

 

Hydra

 

When I was twelve, I felt
       a new body surge out

of me, the swell of glands,
       sprout of hairs,

my strange reflection suspended
       in mirrors, store windows,
              puddles on kickball courts.

Under haze of junior-prom fog machines,
       my cells pulsed with
              non-senescence,
       primed by
              pomade cowlicks, clip-on ties,
                            man-child bristle.

Each night I dreamt in chlorophyll,
       batting my cilia lashes;

simple animal hunger churned
       within me.

Even now Blue Lagoon plays
       on repeat in my mind—

a boy’s hand finding its way down
       to my tendriled fingers as
              theater lights dimmed.

I was electrified by his first touch,
       how voracious my coiled embrace,

the tang of iron on my tongue!

 

Bloom

I am
          the lone diver   glowing     
                           in moonless night.
            The water is a      dark       open sore.
I feel                my way
through  kelp jungles,
            my oxygen ticking away  
                                                    in silver domes. 

Soon I am among them:  swarms of jellyfish
                                                                drifting
                                                                          like smoke
                     from the Mariana trench.
                                                      They undulate,
                                                                 boneless and brooding
as I flee from their path.
                      Memory tugs at me like a current:

I was a sieve           too slight to hold you,
                                                    a water child who passed
             through me like a wave.
                                 Now you are in pursuit,
                                                                   voiceless and brilliant
                       as a bloom
                                          of sea nettles.

 

 

Night Gazing

We spent our wedding night
in a Winnebago
parked in the Arizona desert.
We watched Planck’s satellite
make its descent to earth.
John Philip Sousa blared
from the radio and we scooped
Ben and Jerry’s with our fingers.
Trumpet of metal and wire,
Planck heralded the birth
of a universe, images of cosmic clouds
heavy with stars and galaxies.
We clasped newly banded hands
as the sky blazed. Years later,
I ease you into the tub. 
Water pools in your collarbones,
your body frail as bleached lace. 
I have watched you plummet,
darken like a severed sun.
Somewhere a Winnebago hangs 
a sharp left in the Milky Way.
Red dwarves ping off its belly,
its engine humming along
to parades of newborn stars.
It barrels towards us
at the speed of light. 

 

 

image: Aaron Burch


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