Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

An Unscheduled Stop near the Grotto of Pan; Lupa; Pottapaug
An Unscheduled Stop near the Grotto of Pan

 

perilous - the curve and the descent

the car is vinyl-lined an oven box

baking out last night’s gin in funky sweat

switchbacks centrifuging bile we stop 

on the mountain’s far side to stretch and breathe 

unstick our thighs my whooshing head 

fucked up all afternoon with windows roaring wide 

light stuttering through pines

the nearness of your arm on the seat beside mine

you contemplate the heat-warped plain below 

cool as any Hitchcock blonde I want to touch 

that untroubled arc behind your ear where gold begins

walk instead past megalithic walls 

a goat path edged in thyme

the ancient mountain looms and breathes

volted with a wildness that lights me 

like a bioluminescent bug

its blue air lifts me from myself

and I know what it means to be “called”

why Theban women raved panting 

tang of ash and honey still on the bee

your sun warmed skin sweat-soaked clothes

my name a thought in your throat 

Lupa

 

March. The stiffened floor snaps beneath your feet -

              high arches, delicate long toes -

the air around you furs the sleeping house, 

              the woken room worries

new leaves toss the light, wrack the glass and scatter 

              shadows at your step-

“I’m afraid,” you prevaricate, teeth bone bright

              still I let you in, wanting to please 

the bed buckles, too small for sleep, your hair 

              a living thing fingering 

the space between our breaths, your mouth

              behind my ear - “best to hear”

your voice in my head resonates,

              navigation for nights to come

where I’ll wait like a bat, rabid, rising 

              At the click of a latch, 

                          a catch of breath, 

darkness mapped where you claim your place

with one dark strand on my pillowcase.

Pottapaug

Water the color of tea splits at the fat of the paddle

a sound like mouths 

and I forget                          because the day is mild

              because purple iris bloom in shadowed verge

and laugh at your one naked leg

              drifting through lilies

imagining unimagined beasts 

              black and green beneath pickerel weed 

              unseeable 

in shallows slick with minnows 

              nesting bass                   all safe                 assumed

canopied by hemlock sighing where we stop 

to rest our arms and backs       aching from the draw 

boat still rocking             rocking 

as the ripples of our wake tongue the gravel shore

Lisa Trudeau is a poet and former publishing professional. She lives in Massachusetts.