Five Poems...

-creatures revealed by hewing-

 

pine warblers swirl through sand oak,

an interior structure of moss, epiphytes,

dreaming of ocean till tide overflows

mouth, small tendrils of what will become

riptides feathering in your hair, the pelicans

of our eyes holding all our departures,

so much mullet, moonlight rolling belly to back,

egret or cloud,something ash soft lifts

from mangrove running downwind,

 

amber sunlight, syrup humidity, you

are the cutting surface arcing from tongue

to teeth, sparking breath flowing between us,

gulls wove their voices into a seine, we thrash

about in the shallows, spoonbills render

a heavy verdict, polished as we are, wire

honed off the edge, living this close to the bone,

a darker Gulf reaches into the absence

of our respiration, moonflower sets herself

to climb the palm, fragrance of your hands,

pine sings of lightning, another heart longing to burn

 

 

                  *rumrunner

 

broken handle of tomorrow rattles as screen 

door slaps shut(quick enough to catch the old dog) 

porch slopes south southwest,( yawning in the face

of weather), tide scoured, left with sand emptiness,

 burnished ( relentless) morning light, sweaty

 and gritted from walking back without shade, 

melancholy, (meaning eater of dirt, meaning shell cracker)

 barnacles scraped from a piling into a frenzy 

of sheepshead, (sloppy) chop of Gulf and bay, upriver, 

 

gator prefers possum,  thick with hog plum, the wind hole 

each tree sprouts,( forest of tongues ankle tangled),

we are assimilated by so many flowers, pileated opens

 nail holes, the body of pine weeps, (resin of the barked 

hide), feathered down into a nest of shavings, by lightning 

or match the burning arrives, common tongue of palmetto, 

hog plum, wiregrass, shadow (in the current) resides 

 

in patience, even hauled out,( basking), it waits, adrift

on the creek, your body heavier than azure stone

 of sky beyond your shoulder, once I felt  the slow roll

 I knew I was yours, a different drowning, (a different 

burning), a different cargo carried out to the Gulf

 

 

      -Of the scraggliest tangerine-

 

Song comes for you across palmetto

shouldering flat topped pines, wiregrass

slowly shedding dew, what you have forsaken

standing at the tailgate, "that's the skinning knife"

slab hands of slash pine, cat faced cheek full

of chaw, taking up the blade, this hand began 

working edge  before she could ride a bicycle, 

it wasn't the show he expected, washing up

I could hear the slow chant of clouds, "you can't cut 

a cutter" rolling off into the cypress,cumulus grinding 

out sparks on spires of verdure, the dead eye knowing 

the almost blue glittering edge of horizon by taste 

and feel, we are one as billet was once limb 

before voice broke free of the bark, blackwater 

scouring roots of old oaks, great mats interwoven, buttressing sluiceway of river, what was forsaken 

will not yield, not render into ash and cinder, memory 

is the blade I take to all your ghosts, one by one put to rest beneath the pines, it's how the song finds them, lured 

across the river, layed in the dirt, flowering in shade 

 

 

             -renunciation of elegy-


 

angled as a bevelled edge, buoyant memory taste 

of cutting surfacing on another wave, this is no plea

 for mercy, bronze ingot boiling away sea, cooking blood

down to ooze, cracked lips and six miles to water,

shell held to my ear, heavy as the light on the bay, leaden

 waves beaten into pale flowering, your granny talked 

of tinctures, tupelo honey, ginger tea, how hot peppers, 

pickled onions kept her regular how she could only

 stomach black, black coffee, having been "spoonfed 

enough sugar to strangle a cow", she looked me over 

while you tore up her cold  fried chicken, fan oscillating

 on the counter, " so you're like her?" lighting a smoke, 

her hand on mine, the weight lingers still, sometimes 

you remain within the listening, sometimes I still feel 

your hand around my waist, when day takes its first 

hard breath I hear you then, mourning dove on the power 

line, a road of dust in my mouth, your hands of silk and ice water, we always said there'd be no mercy for such as us, same as your granny at the kitchen table, exhaling, 

"you come eat with us, then", the weight still lingers, wind

 leans into the palms as Gulf  reflects obsidian sky, ash, 

long lacings of lightning come unraveled, we were each 

of us accelerant  awaiting combustion, sparks threaded 

through tongues, flame the only remaining remedy.


 

 

          -I've seen people spin plates-


 

the word is a stone, crow dropped,

a nugget of sunshine wedged beneath

tongue, resin weeps from cracked bark

of hands, shredded into smoke flowering

voices, spall of uncertainty cuts the thin

bloodline, drawn forth the word is a thorn,

wound without clotting seeping vermilion,

 

recitation is chert striking iron, sparking

a cascade of names, slowly, we become flame, 

othering, othering, othering into ash


Bio: Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Can be found on Twitter @PeachDelphine