Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Green Triumverate

(Lady Absinthe in Three Roles)


She's outside searching
for the jade lantern
of a lightning bug,
essential to writing
her intended a poem.

Female ready to mate,
how can she express
her wish uniquely?

He calculates the cycles
of plant and insect,
and by observing
a firefly, she might acquire
field secrets on how
to engage him --- but instead

she enters the house
and pulls a glass
from the bar. Pale fingers
place a sugar cube
inside and pour green
liqueur over its sweetness.

Not quite perfect,
she turns the brass spigot
and drizzles water
over her drink

the same way
she might apply perfume
to her damsel neck,
a scent that would attract
and stun his senses
with a blend of herbs, wordless bouquet

a woman relies on
when her tongue falls dark,
flat as evening's shadow.

* * * * * * *


I watch lightning flash
the edge of her chartreuse wing,
the vein of her poisonous leaf,
the stutter of a tongue.

The last time
she appeared this intense,
I was sharing life
with Verlaine in Paris.

His balcony doors
were open, glass quartos
reflecting visions from the street,
and to my partner,
faces of younger artists
he loved besides me.

His confession
was faintly audible
until lightning flared
heightening the moment
and his tone of voice --

but my head turned.
I did not want to hear
Jules or Sophie filling
that blank space between
the glass and silveware,

his logic
and my lungs that longed
to simply inhale a storm.

* * * * * * *


When they banned the green slyph
from a glass that washed down
the death of someone or something,
she found other ways
of wandering in.

After the snow,
rain mingled with leaves
in the villa courtyard
and gave rise to a spirit
seeking shape --- Spring

posessed my body, loosening
its sweetness like a pale
stick of sugar stiffened
from grief,

and I knew this was greener,
more addictive
than the original source
of sin.


Note -- The lovely painting is entitled, "Reverie", by French artist, Marie-France Riviere. More of her beautiful work can be seen here -- www.griviere.com/expo2000

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