POETRY – 5 Poems by Lucy Burns

cartography

 

gesture     your hand as it floats
above me         scorched slowly, the sacrifice
of an idea                    the long term
transfer of emotion                  a skylark
skims the surface of a cloud

 

they sing only in flight grounded
the air echoes their silence
a meadow, a wheat field, a figure waiting
I drift toward you and then away             eddying

 

when leaves collect I measure the length
of our silences       mute   we circle one another
cradling the space between us
later we map angles

 

chart the distance from the sky
to ours heads       brush away tufts of grass
clear space for new territory       listen
again to larks               in flight
bright song against sky

 

 

 

 

not so close

 

this region of your body
hip edge and hollow
an echo of a place
we haven’t even
begun to see

 

let petal thought
arrange itself across
your face and find
words for the mixture
of sea salt and habit
that have formed

 

and in separation
what happens to the pair
of gulls?

 

as the rain refuses to fall
from overcast sky, I cup
the memory of you
in my hands

 

even damaged I recall
the collection of your thoughts
your eyes as they gazed
through me

 

I watch the sky unfold
catch the scattered
birds before dusk sets in

 

over this backlit evening

 

 

 

 

Peach Halves

 

I’ve dried you out
your body has become
a series of peach halves

 

you disappear at the end
of the sentence
I’ve deconstructed

 

the underpinnings
of our hesitancy to forgive
a prune and two cracked

 

lemon peels keep you
company in the kitchen
when you are restless

 

I hear wind from the window
whistle across your ridges—
a sing-song melody we

 

used to dance against
a knife and stale bread
withered fruit all tokens

 

of this intractable
currency of lies
you have spoken it all

 

 

 

 

anew

 

blank space on a page

 

squeezes imagination      asks for forgiveness in advance

 

spells out clemency   before     words begin to clutter

 

each factory output   each mass produced idea   each one of us

 

trying to unearth

 

our carapace of a soul

 

rough surface   plank of pine    sand away the impurities

 

an idea wrought with anxiety blooms into a tulip       a clever notion

 

those full petals           fall to the damp earth

 

juniper, long grass, an elliptical brush of the wind     of the images we craft

 

parallel lines        a prism of lilac                     a drunk absence looming

 

before time elapses      and we become ordinary again   how to remove

 

the stains of rust         or an idea turned sour

 

an incomplete invasion                        a restless poem

 

 

 

not again

 

the curve of the leaf
mimics the curve

 

of your fingers tight
around my neck

 

the sky is blue, but
icy—it won’t hide me

 

I divide each moment
across myself

 

*

 

don’t milk sound
for sweets

 

don’t drag my body
over and over again

 

wait each tinge of pink wait
cloud wait sky wait water

 

wait the leafy foliage
that engulfs

 

*

 

I draw back exposed
nestle against the wall

 

if cut and shaved and broken
begins here then what

 

the deer less like scared cows
than curtains of damage

 

those lunging bodies

 

 

 

Lucy Burns recently completed an MFA in Poetry at the University of New Mexico where she served as the Associate Editor for Blue Mesa Review. She is currently an Associate Editor for Narrative Magazine.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *