V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




If I make this new tulip stem the viaduct
or underside of your wrist and lick
the branched artery, I arrive in Rome
on the other side of a season sudden as a kidnap note.

I lean against the famous fountain and watch
the waiter refresh the glass of marigolds precisely
ringed by petals. Isn't this every painting
I've ever studied? (I should be in France) but there

you are, that sip of cappuccino, so delicious
I sketch and title it: Alone on the Terranean Sea. Then
I simply walk over and pick up your cup. You are the coast
of October, my graduate art fellowship above the café,

the technical modeling, windows wide, gauze drapes
puffed. I can't stop breathing when breath is cinnamon, over
and over, lineament, rags, turpentine negligence, afternoon
canvas. The mysteries of light, and later when you said

"Abriera," I did enough for you to lay down
your brush and draw the chiffon scarf across my tongue,
"la lingua," like petals or air, nothing, a glass ring,
the curve of this cup rim, this lace, this froth.


© by Beth Simon


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