New Year At the Unique Motel by Joseph Lease

For Donna de La Perriere

That woman laughing
with her mouth full of pizza

sure looks happy,
a green dance, and I’m a

silver coin. Compulsion
was my wedding ring.

It’s a lot of crap: I can’t
imagine your life and I can’t

begin to find these words; I only
tolerate what I can’t

have: I want to feel
every word break.

________________

Kiss me with your round sky:
strong and warm,

our bodies wade in mud
and snow. Above the Public Garden,

the moon, full, in a ring
of fog, lights mud; night, locked

inside, will awaken; night inside roots.
Gold on a fire-colored tree.

Give me the night sky to suck.
With our mouths

we create the night sky.
Through brown leaves

the river lashes its rope of water;
gulls work air, circling . . .

bounced. Restored,
nourished inside you, I am

a surge of heat on a horse’s
back, a salmon

climbing a tight stream.

The grass saves the shape of the hare.
Gray light, thunder, heat, butterfly weed.
What we learned together is real.
Clay, sandstone, reddog, shale.

*


A summer you could not breathe.
Old wind, tangled up.

You lay awake at four in the morning–
having cheated on Matthew. What did I believe

at the same moment? Keepsakes: tell me
stories–you ate laxatives to starve,

used a screwdriver
to break into your house,

looked both ways before thinking.
On family land near Hoschton, Georgia:

in the middle of a cow pasture,
oaks and pines, seven

overturned gravestones. A woodpecker
hammers somewhere. Broken columns,

a marble flower,
an arch on its side, an urn.

More: tell me stories, let your voice
stretch me in shapes of lakes.

*


Wind slides between
buildings’ concrete and glass.

Kids gather for ballet
class or hockey practice.

In the faded storm light,
running in snow

on a school ground toward
a chain link fence,

skating, stick handling a puck
on a small rink

in the center of a boulevard
lined with elms.

________________

Each step jiggles green hedges.
Violet, blue wind covers
river light, birches.

Slick mossed roots cup a rain
pool; nurturing, your throat holds
cadences, unhampers song.

Spend an afternoon’s silver,
drying rain, wood
stacked in radiant sunlight;

ground catches. Air
lightens; unmoving, cigarette butts,
leaf shreds, float.

Sun opens an hour,
sandstone, a blue rag.
You come home and laugh,

buoyant as two hawks,
sun-warmed, ordinary; a nourished
clarity sings. A slow,

reliable embrace, mud-slick, salty.

by Joseph Lease

published in http://www.cultureport.com/newhp/lingo/authors/lease.html lingo 6

Books in print by Joseph Lease

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