She will remember dark eyes
the scruff to his cheeks, slender arms and legs
a tattoo on his thigh, the sun
in all its passion, deep blue, pale flesh at the center
how the sound of her name was a new word
from his mouth
She will remember the scent of leather and sweet musk
the salt of his skin, his hand against her thigh
how she saw, more than heard him moan
the slight up-movement of his adams apple
the skin on his throat tight around it, his head tossed back
how he tasted his own passion, spilled on her skin
She will remember that he called her Goddess
the circle of his arms in the dark, the hum of the air conditioner
the sudden one-ness of a Vermont hotel room
her blossoming there in the comfortable blur of night
the sweetness of his mouth, the kiss, the drifting off
She will remember the morning
alcohol and music worn away to a dull headache
the shade opened, the light turned on
how he had already dressed
but found her, naked under the sheet
his soft voice
pressed into her neck,
and his whisper
that he wanted her
Cheri L. Roberts
Elegy with lies
This lost person I loved. Loved for a hundred years.
When I find her. Find her in a forest. In a cabin
under smoke and clouds shaped like smoke. When I find her
and call her name (nothing) and knock (nothing)
and build a machine that believes it’s God and the machine
calls her name (nothing) and knocks (nothing).
When I tear the machine down and she runs from the cabin
pointing a gun at my memories and telling me
to leave, stranger, leave, man of hammers.
When I can’t finish that story. When I get to the gun
pointed at my head. When I want it to go off.
When everything I say to anyone all day long
is bang. That would be today. When I can’t use her name.
All day long. Soft as cotton, tender as kiss. Bang.
from Elegy Owed
My breasts are small and my eyes round.
Your legs long and cool as the freshet
that runs down from the fountain.
I bite your neck,
it’s sturdy, still not yet ripe,
like a walnut that has just now fallen.
You clamber on top, start kissing my middle,
strew wet wavelets all over my skin,
now up here, now down there,
like the first fat drops to fall before
the storm starts, splat, splat, splat.
We’ve gone to sleep back to chest,
the way lips rejoin
translated from the Basque by Elizabeth Macklin
from Meanwhile Take My Hand (Graywolf Press, 2007)