Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

TWO POEMS
k a t h e r i n e   g r a c e   b o n d
d u v a l l ,   w a s h i n g t o n

E D I C T    B Y   M A I L :
B A N I S H   Y O U R   B E L L Y ,   B U T T   A N D   T H I G H S !

And if I did,
Where would they go?
Would they roll the long hills
To languish
Flaccid
In some desert place?

Soft curves of mine
That ripened with young
And cushioned the smallness of infant backs
In the gray mornings,
You have become unworthy.

Banishment? It is the only course:
To slide away silent
Into the wild wood
And face the jackals unaided
(Smother them, perhaps).

It is a land of laws we live in
Sentencing us to part with that fat joy.
We may no longer sit comfortable
But we do what is right.

And so you must depart.
Iíll pack a small knapsack of sugary things:
Puddings and cakes we used to eat in the deep night.
You will take them to the forest
With no trail to follow back.

Farewell then, flesh of my flesh!
Iíll wish you to some far-flung land
Where big-bottomed mamas sing their children happy
And laugh fierce
And round
And radiant.

                                

L A M O N T   P I P E S   N I G H T   T U N E S   T O   T H E   F I S H

In a circle of lake
His boat,
Rod suspended through an oarlock.
The perch, the bass,
The rainbow trout
Are waiting.

They glide under the hull,
Teasing the hook.
He drifts.

He wakes to the Perseidsí flash and damp.
The bobber floats,
Fishless.
Should he row to shore?

The flute sags silver in the lining of his coat.
Long sleep
Waiting for his kiss.

He draws it out --
No hesitation
This time,
No apology.

Can it be that the meteors fall faster now?
Can it be that his feet
Syncopate the boat bottom,
That the blues unfurl within him
Like a sail?

The fish raise narrow heads
Caught
By notes that weave and shuffle.
They ring the boat, tapping thin fins,
Then wake again to fishness.

No catch tonight.
Only
This bucket
Of spent stars.

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