Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Rebecca Lu Kiernan


We move into our violet beach house
On Anna Maria Island,
Pink shutters, peach cobblestone porch,
Tiger lilies pirouetting in the window box,
Sugar-white sand dusting cobalt willows,
Stone tigers guarding the door
(For you've been dreaming of them lately.)

On our new cherry wood sleigh bed
I put down the quilt my grandmother made,
Bluebirds dancing in the hyacinth,
Perfect silver beads of rain,
Dozens of tangerine moon tusks
Suspended in cotton candy pink skies.
The virgin bed waits
For your tremulous lips on the small of my back,
My eyelashes wiggling down your belly,
The pendulum of your wheat blonde hair
Stalking my collar bone,
My tongue painting a question mark
In your ear.
Your raspberry pharaoh hound
Licks the chessboard kitchen floor
Tasting the difference between
Hunter green and sea foam.
After a dinner of ostrich fettuccini
For a moment I forget
There is a time bomb in your brain
The size of a gumball.
A kiss knocks off your white cowboy hat
In the claw-footed tub.
Someday I will visit you in the hospital.
You won't know my name,
You will dream with your hand in mine
Of a beach tigress that does not flinch
With your head in her mouth
Even as her tail erases your sandy footprints.

The Cold Sleep

Before surrendering to cold sleep
I kiss the seashell-framed sienna photograph
Of us on the otherworld beach,
Dance one more with your hologram
Which I have programmed to be butter-fingered
So I can laugh one last time.
As the drugs sink their teeth in
I imagine some day I will find you
No worse for the wear
Through the soup of space and time.
I could terraform our old poison world,
Clone you from one lock of your wheat blonde
Hair on your turquoise brush,
Love without mercy,
Fuck in public places without shame,
Abandon you on some cannibal colony
Without explanation,
Walk android-like in the freezing rain
Of some alien planet
Where there are pills to erase
Memories of betrayal
And no translation for your name.

©2003 by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

Rebecca Lu Kiernan has published in Ms. Magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction, Space and Time, and numerous books and magazines in the U.S. and Australia. Her poetry collections include The Man Who Remembered Too Much (Ygdrasil Press) and Sex With Trees and Other Things Equally Responsive(2River Press). She was nominated for a Rhysling award, and edits the erotic fiction magazine, Gecko.

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