k e l l i r u s s e l l a g o d o n ~ m a r g i n
OF MOTHS AND OIL
We know the ocean
was painted black that day.
We curled up in the bottom
of a continent and hoped
the waves flowed north.
Every time I think
I know pain, I remember the fire
I watched burn on the edge of a city
and I hurt again.
There were two boys there, playing
by the stream. We believed
no one could become the brilliant
sunrise, the same glow that birds
return to each spring.
So we slept in, despite an open
window, the small leak underground,
the notes carried in beaks.
Where did the moths flutter that morning?
I saw them in the trees, hoping
(if moths can hope) to vanish into the bark.
And if they can hope and vanish,
maybe we can too, like wings hitting the glass,
my bedroom window
never rests when the moon is out,
calling paper into the sky,
taking the night out of the ocean.
This poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize
If we stack all the poems that contain
origami, white egrets and moths
we may be able to see the street
where poets dress alike,
their white boots and black canes
typing their way across the sidewalk.
Maybe we have read their books
in our graves, reaching one hand
from the ground to sip an iced tea
while the sun sets on the pond
behind the cemetery where the white
egret stands poised, the moths
awaken and the silence is so original,
no one mentions origami.
GIRL IN GREEN PATINA
In my city, we hold our umbrellas
tight, as if our hearts were raining.
Our bodies billow with storms,
rumble below thin clouds.
With skin stained moss,
we blend with the landscape-
pine and hemlock are relatives
in the back row of our family portrait,
the rhododendron, our sister pouting
in her thick green dress. Maybe
its simpler being part of the weather
recognizing that what we wore yesterday
could never keep us warm today.
A piece of fog slips into our pocket,
the torn gray sweater of an old friend
drapes across the sky.
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