Three Poems by Lisa Russ Spaar
Jan 20 ● BY Lisa Russ Spaar
When Love’s Away Madrigal
Small toad, green as salt-
scoured aspirin bottle seaglass,
no larger than a thumb,
what about the ecosystem
of my kitchen sink struck
you as fossorial or aquatic,
gripping the faucet’s crozier,
all short, squat skull, all burr
& bulbous, lidded eyes
that when mature will cry?
I too feel born from a shell-less
mass of doll’s-eye eggs, amphi-bios,
“both kinds of life,” respiring
through panting skin, lungless, longing.
What confidence, instinct,
O Precarious, made this wattled ink
of botched starts, breasted lore,
whose thatch in the fork
of two branches, shows—duh—
the first home: pubis, mother,
In my dream-code,
it’s to this contrived abode,
coda to the flits of love,
& bossed by laws inter-woven
as the center of a universe—
fleece, feed, fly—that I return.
Life’s a parsing of the verb to hide
from any public image. What’s inside.
Music Box Madrigal
A wrist of sticks cut, thrust in water
to force the sweet crease of cherry flosses
& then forgotten now thickens with fur-dross,
greeny on the windowsill through which a neighbor’s
radio pines in Friday-night nostalgia
to the tune of a six-pack of something.
An old story, Romance: On such an Evening,
the Light, &c.—unhinged by sudden thaw,
the wind dovetailing through strappy trees
its clair, its eyeblink—brings to the darkened
space of a fisted ribcage a fresh chance.
Lift the lid, unbend the stiff, sprung figure
of speech within, tutu spread like the spirit’s bloom
ringing body’s vase with the snowy ropes of freedom.