"I'd forgotten what the undersides of leaves look like..."
Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series
Need to Know
11: The Necessary Eye
Issue 10: Out on a Limb
Issue 9: The Missing Body
Issue 8: The Lily
Issue 7: Passages
Issue 6: No More Tears
A quick list to poets featured in this
devin wayne davis
instead of striking each alone
into the unquenchable night,
bound them all up,
frail sulphurous sticks,
struck them all at a blow
on the brick and hurled
that fiery brand through
the frosted plate glass?
the lace tablecloths,
the balustrades, the roast goose!
Melted the brass stove
and the seven-armed candlesticks!
Let the flames careen into the sky—
consume the stars themselves
and scorch God's whiskers!
That conflagration of wealth could surely
have warmed your hands then, match-girl,
miniature handmaiden of rage.
wanted you frozen black,
cold testament to passersby
of heavenly reward.
I prefer you
dancing on the ashes,
sooty cheeks ruddy underneath
with heat, skirt kilted up
about your knees, and eyes ablaze.
In the gloaming I fell for a girl fiddler. For her alone I wanted
to cheer out of need, not the begrudging obligation of the crowd,
a reminder that old songs are hungry gods that demand tribute.
I'd forgotten what the undersides of leaves look like, the intricacy
of each veiny path blooming exponentially outward like raggle-taggle gypsies,
like torn stained letters, like desperate men with a price on their heads.
Somewhere a man oils Spanish leather boots with care and places them
beneath an empty bed. Somewhere the root of a briar splits
damp pine to wrap its first tendrils around a woman's skeleton.
The fiddle creaks and keens as a well-rosined bow draws dust close
around my girl, my lass in blue. I clap my hands until they sting, then cup
them softly together as if something dear was trapped between them.