by Cathryn Cofell
You talk too much, your voice consumes the night.
It’s not your metaphors I want to have extended,
it’s your long legs on, over, around me like atoms,
it’s your work-stained hands igniting my atoms,
writing and re-writing the lines of my extended
body, not this language of the haunted and the night.
Your mouth has more important things to stir:
tongue me a haiku, tend me like a spring tree,
kiss me here and here to quiver, to burst.
Feel it? I am a magnolia bud about to burst,
I am the ripe musk of a magnolia tree:
dig at my roots and all my branches will stir.
Enough with the words. Enough with the half names.
Don’t you know how wrong it is to call out other
loves in the dark naked clasp of my arms? This, yes,
is what brought us here—the patter, the meter, yes,
the recoil, but set them free outside now, another
prey wants ambush, begs you to pray my name.
~ first published in The Wisconsin Academy Review