Sinning On Good Friday
He comes to me in his church
clothes, khakis creased
from kneeling, a checked wool shirt.
His skin, the color of rich dark earth,
reminds me of a Pablo Neruda poem:
"Body of a man, brown hills,
brown thighs." I know these slopes
and valleys well. Yet he guides
my downward slide until flood-like,
I wash away his landmarks.
Afterward, in the grainy half-light
of dawn, he sprawls, naked,
and the falling, rising,
falling contour of his chest
conceals the cross off which
Christ takes a swan dive.
During the night, Mother Nature
repossessed her pinks and reds,
her oranges and her yellows.
Now as she spills those inks
into the sky's margins,
I stand in scrimshaw birches. Aloof,
the dog treads along a trail
of scent that girdles the pond,
her tail snapping through the brittle
ghosts of yesterday's grass.
And you lie in our bed—stiff
as the ice-burnished daffodils—
in perjured sleep while
the wood stove cracks and hisses
in the silence.
An Abominable Mystery
at the Age of Reptiles' close.
(orchids and roses,
fig and beech)
Angiosperms, flowering plants
(California poppies pooled
in the fields,
straw tossed over bright
blades, bleached to gold
under a hot pale sky)
Angio: from the Greek, a vessel,
a capsule, an "encased seed".
(apples pressed into cider, grapes into wine,
corn ground fine as talc,
the bitter acorn leached and cooked)
A high metabolic rate
food in concentrated form.
whose scent will cling
to evenings long after)
the Age of Man.
Julie lives in the wonderful Pacific Northwest. Her flash fiction has appeared in The Green Tricycle. E-mail: julie8761[at]hotmail.com.