Three Poems by Belle Valentine

sc july 18

Coterminous

The wet sight of hanging dew hearkens
back to a softer lighting, suspended on the same string,
silhouetting one slender form through the
cracks of faded curtains
What song had been playing then?
I handle the aged drape and
wring it with furrowed brow delicately,
conscious of its dotage
To reap those words would
spare me the burden of avowal; if such a woman
had choired my affections already,
had connotated our shared experience,
my kind of disquietude may subside
Hours slip in and out of grasp.
When these lost words finally manifest,
I unfurl my tightened fist, wrap the scene
in ribbon, and send it on its way, heard and
hopefully to be reminisced upon

Stranger’s directions

Hallucinate the revolting lake of summertime
wavering hot on the tar surface of the road
Crunch one hundred locust corpses
underfoot, only one way to go:
through the field where the
crops once failed but now cut
your calves like shivs
By nightfall, the coyote’s call
will whip you to your senses,
enough to feel the moon
looming on your scalp
And when you arrive, you will find
nothing but bronzed bottles and
broken windows betraying your boyhood memory

At first hearing

“The wind’s favorite sweetness is honey”
The merchant beamed from his post
in Sky City, red halo setting on the mesa behind us
I bought no wares, but his tales and countless others
were toted onto buses where I relayed them clumsily
“Can I say a prayer first?” my seatmate
asked, as if anything I would say
was from an unholy few;
it was not within any realm of his
to put faith in the devil’s passivity
But I fashion a small jar
for every route through the dust,
and I never let my third knot undone

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