Brittle

Poetry

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You ask me what is it

this brittle I’m speaking of:

what is this short temper?

And I am cracking the colours

having broken the blue

I say brittle is like this

and the shortness in my own breath

shows me how long I have been wanting

that exact blue of your eyes.

The red is no better

run like the Rio Dulce into murk

nothing can save us now

the sweet scratch of your nail

through the hardening colour

makes red redder and the

small smile you give me

is as clear as the sky.

Then, yellow will not shatter.

Yellow will not yield

my thumbs are worn, nail bed

lifting from my scratching at the

yellow you say brittle in my ear

and I know myself that I shatter

in the the yellow centre.

We have found the colours,

collected them and grouped them

we made them run and spilt them

we have seen that they each will do

the thing they themselves dictate

being made waxy and soft

until they cool. Then they are

as crisp as the day

and as likely to crack into shapes

spelling brittle across the board.

You sisters take the round ones

and make marks big and small

over huge sheets of paper.

The spangled colours are

as mixed and sweet

as the lines on the maps that show the way.

Red

Poetry

The earth mother around the corner

gave permission for the women of our street to let down the blood.

The plum blossoms turned pink

and children found surprising beetroot soup in their dinner bowls.

The week stretched into wine glasses

all fossiky with the dregs.

Matriculated, the weekend scratched at the surface of things

until they became blistered and curled

busted up offerings of paper parcels

that over and overed in the garbage strike

each one etched with sacred mess;

life giving has come to this:

bury it and sound no alarm.

The goddess built for comfort, not speed

shakes her great wide girth.