950 Readings

Allergy Song

Come and I will clear your throat of lilacs,
tease loose the knots of a blossom’s work,
I’ll make a tonic stronger than the pollen
that put you here, propped up at the edge
of the bed, a nectarine shirt tossed over
the lampshade making the whole room glow
orange, as I imagine it might inside a flower,
as if we were bees, you with your book
of hunger, me with my song of hum and pause—

For you I’ll sleep with windows closed
even though the sweet air swims against the glass,
and the cedar whispers the story of before us
and the night bird sings your name, sweet, sweet, sweet

wife, before I knew you I slept outside
for months at a time and gathered a store of things:

blue fishing twine, a glass jar the color of sky,
a rusted knife handle missing its blade, caribou antler,
bone carvings, a small stone cairn—
and deep in the pages of a tattered journal,
two sprigs of River Beauty,
the blossom’s purple faded slightly, but still fragrant,
a gift, because I love you, I will not share.
Posted 06/09/10
First appeared in Prairie Schooner, Winter 2009
Comments (0)