Maureen Alsop
Maureen Alsop

In the shade deep vale, sleep, a globe of bees, the faded stain of touch. What took us. The dark iris’ kiss and your fever notes fell among the still black folds of snow’s hush. The silent dim of a new song

snaps the meadow.

We hear each other again, as if for the first time, in these dreams that follow death.

Our voices, now, made bright by the sun—


Upon the Sea, the Blush of Sunset

I did not take to the ocean. I did not call the woods into my skin. Still, as it is now, a layer of ghost milk burns. A white fire: moth and lily dust. Noon flares in the needle trees. What did I make of the soft blood, the slow smolder of my family’s disappearance? Does the tree brim with watermark? Is the wisp of my soul touched? No. Not by sun. Not even by the call of the willow at the gate of my house. And not by my body as I hook my breath to the braided mane of a horse descending into a bruised goldenrod, soaking it’s throat with gray florets of tumbleweed. Grandmother, the me, the not her, the hot touch of old ghosts, who is wanted? Days have been asked. But it is only the trees that answer, their wet speech billows as they break into flame.


Winter Frequency

Some days worse. Pulse of old wood. Quickening oak. Gold patina of unoccupied light. The etch of a woman’s thigh, torso, never quite seeing the outline of her face. The wing moves without injury against the appetites of rain. Everywhere you imagine, the swallows return, or perhaps the weave of starlings. I’ve never been ultimately certain of difference. Just as now

I am not sure of the thin longing of your face. I have heard that everything returns. On that I am most definitely not certain. Even the masses know impermanence as sole clarity.

The last line of trees are a blue-gray wish for beauty. I am bound always outward by my dazed repetition of boots into the wilding sun. I move toward your distant house. How did we begin relations? Beyond the bell trees there is a fresh swoon of winter in the grass. The swell of snow, a belief in love, the softness reaches beyond the whole of death.


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