February 17, 2009

Monkey, the Body

Birch light. That waiting time
when light from the back
of the sun–chilled, all promise, no heat–
thins out the dark edges of the day.
We long for tulips pushing red
through grains of snow,
small hearts filling
with warm air. Our own hearts
hunch in our chests beneath
layers of down and wool like Stone
Monkey, the ancient trickster,
brooding beneath his cloud.
In the old story, the monkey leaps
from waterfalls, rushes about,
spins cartwheels. These days,
monkey heart, that tight-fisted muscle,
breaks loose, hops down to our stomachs,
springs to our throats.

A rope of snow falls from a birch branch,
outside the silvering window.

Birds flit.
The monkey perches.

From We Tempt Our Luck, forthcoming from Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press.

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