Thursday, May 21, 2009

For My Love Who Finds No Sleep

There is no hour
on this ragged jewel
when someone
is not sleeping.

Except you.

On, off, on, off
then again on,
the world sombulates.
It is the hum that undergirds
triumphant kingdoms,
frenzied chaos,
installations of kindness
cruel skirmishes.

Yet, dawn is the seep
at your bedroom window
finding you awake.

You seek this muse
who recluses herself from you,
amoral in her absence.

Your long story together
is one of tentative attraction
though the past few months,
more enmity manifest.

Sometimes I think of you
as unrequited lover,
all thumbs, all left feet,
stumbling as you try
to win her affection.

(Your courting of me
more winning
than this fickle paramour
whom you need
so much more.)

I am not jealous.

Were that I Cyrano to your Roxanne.
More the Steve Martin version,
with its Hollywood happy ending,
than the original French,
which is heartrending,
through and through.

I could be vehicle of words
which would marry you,
perfect intonation
of mystical incantation
begetting your bedding beside her
each and every night,
start to finish,
dusk to dawn.

(cc) Karen G. Johnston

Our First Weekend Away (Cortelyou Road Station)

Luxury discovery
of new islands
in this archipelago
lava evolving life
we are encrusting.

Weekend’s abundance
affords us afternoon nap.
We needn’t be fucking
or watching the telly
or conversing
all the time.

There is time enough
for bamboo shades-drawn siesta,
bodies naked and at ease.

I have just discovered
that you do not fall off
to an easy forty winks,
the slant of urban sky
precursing spring dusk.

You chortle at the day’s small delights.
You rail against the stupidity of others,
you heavy sigh at the dumb luck
of avoiding the Bridge of Snarled Traffic.

I leave the skiff
we’ve steered here –
just long enough
to fill the brown notebook
you find so charming.

I return to the bed we share,
breath steady from your mouth just ajar.
I rub the rough studded line
from your skull to your bottom,
palm of my hand curved and content.

(cc) Karen G. Johnston