returning her home disheveled
back on her porch unbuttoned,
tresses tangled. bare
you saw her ripe this morning,
scarlet and smooth.
now color drained,
my lips are red.
she will seem fruit again tomorrow,
rebloomed ruby, sundress hiding
blue hips. lace laundered,
clean of me. perfect
for backyard barbecue,
your hostess serving iced tea,
but fire shy,
already on my grill,
Born Too Late
I sense a dearth of truth, a loss
of piety. The buttons are too easy,
the character of cobblestones buried
by black. The blessed sheen of sweat
on holy fieldsmen and fruit peddlers
now dried like parchment on the brows
and smirks of small men
who do not know, have never
known, and will not know
the honest feel of plows that plant
and scythes that cut their supper.
There is no real blood here
on city streets, blood
that means, blood
that talks, blood
that tells stories that matter.
Of course there are stains.
Heartmarks and pains. Someone
who delayed too long lacing his shoe
met a trailer in this very spot, driven
by a hurried man late on rounds. But
that blood you stand on now
with your Italian leather
does not hold nor challenge
the red and godly grace
of a Tennessee field, where
just yesterday, coincidentally
at that very same hour, a black manís
bones were swallowed by the blades
of his harvester as he bent,
to lift his summer wheat.
©2005 by Patrick Carrington
A native of New York City, Patrick Carrington teaches creative writing in New Jersey, and is the poetry editor for the Web-based art & literary journal Mannequin Envy. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various print and on-line journals, most recently The New Hampshire Review, The DMQ Review, Pearl, The Raintown Review, Meridian, Tigerís Eye, Mobius, Ascent Aspirations, and Adagio Verse Quarterly. He is currently appearing as the featured writer in the fall issue of the literary journal Artistry of Life.