a sestina


the morning heaves its ripened fruits into my lap.
a drumtight pomegranate seed snaps may open.
an early sun rises heavy like a fever.
light breathes into us with its familiar rhythm.
we lift burnt orange pottery bowls to our lips to drink.
black coffee steam washes our faces with angel wings.

so we are warmed, and we smile, lifted by such wings.
yet something softens in your spine, and into my lap
your head falls heavy, unsustained. you spill your drink.
my nightgown soaks the coffee brown; burnt orange smashes open.
the grains are fine and still against gray cement. light's rhythm
now softens its pulse as my knuckles melt your fever.

you are the morning and the fruits with your fever
and your falling head, with your spine like eagle wings
curved to soar against the wind's ungainly rhythm,
your head snaps like a pomegranate seed, its light laps
brightly against the shore of my knees -- open.
i pour your fever into my pottery bowl and take another drink.

the steam still rises from the cup and i am still drinking
in the warmth of the morning's fever
when you stir against my sharp elbows. they are opened
wide to lift the heavy bowl of morning; its steaming wings
still wash me with light and the gritty bowl's liquid still laps
up at my mouth with a weak tide's unbent rhythm.

there is still this new season pounding upon us with the rhythmic
spell of jazz, of africa -- of a heat which no drink
could ever cool. this coffee steams hot and in my lap
rests you -- the fruit, this bright morning, this fever,
and this season. your coarse dark hair swings
gently from your head as you close what before had opened.

now you rise and you fill your openings
up with cement; you steal back your breath's rhythm;
you steal back your wings;
you steal back your warmth; you drink
back your fever.
no longer is there a bright morning when i look down at my lap.

the season's wings beat back a lonely rhythm as you drink
from the stolen cup's fever.
you leave me an open space, emptying the day from my lap.

Comments

Linda Johnson said…
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bibliotekk said…
So you're the reason why I can't use ama as my name! :)

I love the lines.

Keep it up. Will come back to read some more.
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Stacy said…
Hi Ama,
Your poetry is not crappy. You must change the title of this blog. It's not fair to the poems. They are rich and evocative and truly wonderful. Be sweet to them.
Stacy in Austin

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