Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lea Banks


for my parents, 1979

How beautiful. How beautiful
girlhood’s faded face.

Bright eyes shadowed shut
with glimmering stitches.

O tiny mole. Gleaming
hair with sleeping brain

inside dreaming. Tender
spots. Shine.

I am looking down
from high, high

and I can tell there is nothing
unspeakable, tapped down, or normal anymore.

As you stay beside me,
large houses grow.

Angels nap between the bedposts.
Children chirp from doorways.

Someone laughs.
No one snickers.

Measuring my breath,
jet trails. You’re the pilot kneeling

at the side of my bed.
Your homage is a beacon

in the settle down darkness.
This room is a trance. My body

a traveling fair, a white church.
Who dares to wake me?

-previously published in Diner, Volume 6

A Beautiful Landscape

after Keats “Ode to Apollo”

Cherry stains my heart and mouth
and the boy that calls me Cherry
Bomb is right. Bombing through

life, not the goddess nor goodness
I wish to be. I mar the surface.
Water shivers. He shims yellow

light on paper white fish scales.
The sun gleams righteously upon us.
Apollo is a punchbowl drunk

firefly igniting the air. Superior,
crystalline, he humbles me.
This composure. This godlike light.

His curls, pale cowry shells,
grams of Delphic sand-dust.
Beauty and its landscape immense.

My cherry tree is but a sapling, a sweet
tart. It drinks in as much goodness
as the scenery allows. I lumber

under the weight of his gold coins.
A future in the ashes of a fading fire?
This is the charred gift I desire.

-published in The American Poetry Journal, Vol.4, Issue 1


Sleepy tumor of flowers, all comfort and slow
movement: say jewelweed, say sweet pea, say tamarind
melting at a touch to touch-me-not. They explode
into bony air through the slightest slit. The day I lost
you, my bones fell out of my body for love.
The climbing tendril. Concluded cells.
The Jesus hair of your immovable trellis.

A tongue-lash jeremiad, a winged instrument
hacked out of the darking of the morning.
The tongue wriggles and carps; a somite,
an earthworm. Pathologically independent,
you split your legend around the body divided,
deboned; a metameric failure colorblind
to touch. Tropisms of my throat close
from the final grey heat of light. The stimulus
is over. Not here. Not there.

Snow Angel

I am a woman in the middle of my life
lying in my front yard, arms
and legs arcing through snow.

I think of you sometimes
as I make them.
I’m faring quite well.

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