Poems by Alice Rose George
Your face is an almond –
no, a brown egg,
chin in a point, forehead so oval
and smooth with acceptance, not innocence –
and the mouth a bursting lily,
pointed petals on top, a full cushion
below before it slopes to other flesh
and those teeth inside, pressing into
your delicious tongue –
the eyes are thick beads on a string
pulled by the puppeteer brain
so a smile follows a wide question
and a sadness drops like a stone
on the path – those thighs
high and trim, slanted to suggest
a powerful earth, a strong man – hints of
the chest under an unbuttoned white shirt,
hair, black as black, abundant
everywhere except for the head, making it
more dome-like, almond and egg.
Dogs inside my head,
the porch open to butterflies
and lilacs so recently
bursting into consciousness.
Hear the chipmunk
twirl its jaw batons?
The earth comes alive
pushing out green —
you’d think we were nearsighted
needing extra, extra
Music awakens birds
bordering on sleep.
It’s a Mozart night.
Put two and two together.
You’d call it love, but, for me,
it’s a pistil and stamen thing,
the world at odds making
Your hand is on mine as
the sun goes down
the hammock up
our lips moistened
the pale pastels of light
licking our faces
the grill ready
and that appetite!
That love of connection
ties up the grass,
makes the roots grow,
kisses the fertile earth
on a summer night.
Croaking frogs mark the hour,
Keeping time with time. The pond,
In which they, like suspended bubbles,
Paddle, is lit by a full moon.
Under palms’ enormous fronds,
Their bellies extend, stretch downward
So deeply they must ache.
The wind at last settles, late night
Abruptly halts their mating calls –
Did I miss the act of copulation?
Yes, yes, something satisfying
Must have happened. A profound
Silence nudges me to realize the clock
Has struck. I carry myself off,
No enthusiast easing into a syrupy lagoon.
On the Horizon
When I stood before that space —
clouds’ fleece sewn to blue,
tree limbs barren as sorrow’s arms,
the black birds’ violent uprising,
the hawk’s slow unwinding crawl
cold in the morning air —
parting sawed my heart in two.
Again, the sleepless, hopeless
pace of love’s bone marrow.
I kissed your high forehead
and wished myself dead before
the deadly ring hit the mark
or my hand reached out to catch
a falling feather — on which
my head would never rest.
Death comes as a deer,
a swollen gut
across my window shield.
The nose had forgotten scent
and bolted when the beam
in the air above the hood
all softness left to chance
hard steel and chrome,
anger in speed alone,
confrontation with self,
or the maker of all,
the senselessness of the attempt.
I ate a chocolate bar.
Pigeons flew up in the grey to approach stature.
You flew away. I ate a chocolate bar, the whole thing,
And bought another. I sit at the window – grey –
And sketch departure. This has happened and happened.
Still, I am surprised. Sweets somehow ease the heart,
If not the ache. For that, I chew, I swallow deep and heavy,
I eat, then I walk, I let the late light absorb me in its colors,
Turn dark as the end approaches. Today I almost bought
A chocolate photograph, but I didn’t, I don’t want another image.
I have none of you. Goodbye ingested like a wafer.
Still the ring of day’s end. I reach for any other.
NOTE: “chocolate photograph” refers to a series of photographs by Vik Muniz.
I come to light upon the desk,
Pea-green, a mindless body, beautiful.
There un-scroll filaments of silver,
Crystal messages with hidden codes,
A poet running contraband.
Arriving in tandem, the angels, muse-lings,
Assume quiet shapes in evening stoles
Of rare elaboration, blessings woven
In beads, fur, embroidery, silk.
With their invisible hands, my flightiness
Becomes weighted, is given shape. I conceive
On the desk, on the brown wood, in the little room.
I leave my gold for a giant’s rainbow.
Once done, the gift planted,
I fly, the muse-lings in tandem,
Joyful all, particles in the morning air.