Erika Kulnys CD Release

Crossing
(Published in Poetry International, Issue 11, 2007)

Beloved, thou art fair…also our bed is green.
Into the flesh of our thighs we drew

promises under the pines. The dirt rose around us
in the wind. Now my bed has grown greener—

you’re bound to another. Could we return
our caress without blood-

softened hands?
Tell me, o thou whom my soul loveth,

where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon.
Tell me, what feeds you—is it the moon?

Golden sphinx stealing your eyes
away from me to sleep. What kneeling siren

pulls your curls, lost sailor boy? Whose hands
will dream inside of you? Which poet

with her pen—whose horse in battle?

Rise up my love, my fair one and come away,
for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.

Remember moving to this small town in December
sky, my fist tight around a glass, the plane
trembling, my fingers on your lips, fumbling
towards spring, guitars, breast strokes,

towards painting you in blues, our throats
taut, breathing through sheets

of rain. Blow upon my garden.
Remember June.

My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth
among the lilies. Remember our dining room,

my fingers on ivory playing Debussy, you
kneeling before me, your tongue inside—the way

we rocked. Remember dripping
in the lake—My beloved put his hand

by the hole of the door—you were the first
to take me in lilies, to break me open

as a piece of pomegranate without cutlery,
without shadows cast on water.

I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse…
gathered myself with my spice
, I found

lamb’s ear, felt its soft spine, remembered
nights without pillows. I have eaten honeycomb

with my honey and your flesh
in the bathtub, drunk wine with my milk, our fists

full of chicken, mandolins serenading, salted
fingers twisting, my face to your spine.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
My boy lover with her breasts

and her hair like the brambles
and her fist like a beast.

My boy lover with her hand
as big as any man, her face as sure.

You milked me before I knew
I was a woman.

You reached in and caught
three red herrings to take

in your body of caress, our bodies
crossing—Oh that thou wert as my brother,

that sucked the breast of my mother
you were my sister and my lover.

You sucked another’s breast:
mine. Comfort me with the fruit

that Eve took, for I am sick of love.
Make sweet the errata

of the bite drawn deep
in your throat. Break open

my sleep, my trembling hands.

 

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