New Poem and still singin’ the mo’ is bettah blues…
She Prepares for Him a Meal of Truth
Tonight, after a candlelit hour of talk,
you go off to sleep, vanishing into the shadows
of the living room that borders my lair
and I wonder once more why I couldn’t
follow you, taking off the invisible chain-mail
the fear of love has forged and cloaked me in
for nearly a lifetime.
Now I picture you in the homely square of bed
at the far corner of the house,
window open to the south pasture, moon
crossing east to west the night long,
its soft feet skimming your face.
Was I ever unafraid of this, to bring myself
nearer, to melt against the warm curve
of your long back and count your breaths
until I too go under,
surrendered to the swift and deep
current between us?
You love to wake to light and I
darken my rooms in the long ritual
that grants me the illusion
that I am safe from the long-clawed
demons of the past,
those denizens of the spent years
that rake my dreams like ash, digging
for the edible,
that catch dream-fish in their mouths
standing bridged over a rainbowing waterfall,
as if it were ideal to be imposing.
I’ve said to myself it’s not trivial, it’s a good
strong love and it is and yet even when you leave
the door ajar, glancing back over your
shoulder—come in if you like, bring
I feel the mosquito netting of anxiety
drape itself over the furniture and pool
before me like a cloak of shadows,
a membrane of dust.
I pluck at it and try to fold or roll it up,
as if I could readily consign inner
trembling to a drawer-full
of dried wings.
I lift the lid and peruse the contents
of the jar of fermenting
moths and flowers
and kisses and startings over;
why aren’t we taught to love
when we are young, shepherded
by beaming mothers
before the gruff and imposing uncle
crouched in his study, made then
to stand stock-still for the roil of dread
that so militantly barks the order: run.
Some fears have no explanation
and this is one. I love how I love,
I repeat to myself again and again,
double entendre du jour,
and what you say to me in the deeps
of one of my sleepless nights:
You’re a wonderful person,
A brilliant and kind person.
It’s just an illusion
that you are losing yourself.
But I know the real story;
I am the mule deer doe
bolting from the copse,
she who flees in the manner of a small
plains tribe on the threshold of an early
winter, hefting up its cache of dried antelope
and fruit, the pliant tipi skins,
strapping sleepy and blanketed children
to the travois, whistling up a few scrappy dogs,
heading south before the storm,
head down and moving on.
Copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews 2014