Sunday, September 13, 2009

2 Poems by Sylvia Sullivan


In the cool morning light,
a body draped limply over the unmade bed
and an arm angled up and back,
making shadows tickle the wall.
The shoulder blade gave way.
Inevitable, then, that the palm met
the seeming lenience of the mattress.

Anxious teeth had peeled away cuticle
and red irritation interrupted the beige of
rayon and flesh.
I drew in five fingers –
these the taut panels of an umbrella,
opening and closing with a raincloud –
and felt the ribbings’ minute vibrations
against my fingertips,
fortuitous murmurs of an oracle.

I pressed hard, middle and forefinger,
into a seam-strapped hill.
The shadowy indentation between the two,
an absence coalescing into connection,
and the force crawling up through the forearm,
paradoxical in its initial effortlessness.

The slammed door shattered
spongy mountain hypnosis.
The forearm muscle collapsed and
the shadow snapped.

I glanced up.
My frame cast out another shadow
along polyester plateaus,
but across the way
waiting to meet it
there was no other body.

“Descending Desert”
What is this place,
Where strange double suns
Mesh and meld and become one deliquesced globule?
Proof of heliocentrism, rigorous and unquestionable,
Overwhelming and blinding.
Dune melts away underneath – a struggle up Sechuran seif –
And frantic arms flung against an aeolian inevitability.
Deaf from the granular accumulation in the helix,
Itchy as it slithers and piles in the navel.
Still is a fatalistic attraction,
A frame clung to the scalding, shifting Sossusvlei.
Phoebean radiance grips the gaze and gnaws the backside.

Suddenly, so suddenly, the ridge,
Painstakingly carved, thin engraving.
A memory of tumbling joyously and miserably over
Into the shadow of otherside.

And then only a pleasurable after-tingle
And a thumb,
Tracing an aleph in the cool sand.

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