The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by David McAleavey
getting into the bottle!
—you're curling and fidgeting beside me
scything over me and away
the rich rut of your arousal in my nose
no, that's a dream, saved
for later, now all I'm doing
is slicing the top off the foil sheath.
the swollen chunk of shaped bark
out and then we imagine aromas
invisibly into the room;
sometimes I smell the nearly-dripping cork-end
a little cautiously
like checking the kleenex after
blowing my nose, not to miss bad news,
or I whiff
near the dime-size opening
to hear the Lorelei and Sirens sing
fully confusing my vision;
then the first burst flows into a glass, splashing
like kids in a pool,
one of those inflatable pools,
and the kids, naked toddlers laughing.
The full glass,
though, is no laughing matter
it's like the kids grew up in a hurry
must wait in their maturity
to see if the parents will ever notice
which is when we clink and say cheers
and taste the past, the part we can have.
a leap from footbridge to lake,
the first sip, first swallow, up for air
getting comfortable en route
swimming hole, river, a waving conversation
—we could be tubing
down the rumpled Rappahannock—
amid the ruckus we hug and kiss.
Wine, red wine,
you may be bad but you're good
which makes you a thing like us, to lean on
cello's range is the human voice's
in a different timbre, so the terroir
or suggestive blend make ample
preamble—if sometimes, lame excuse.
Recovered from the sea, a statue of a sea nymph who’s just been
slapped by the hard breeze of her sea god. The fragile bronze shows her face
shivered by the jolt, still shivering through two dozen centuries.
Trapped by the sculptor’s gaze, the model's understanding that there is no
escape from such displeasure looks to us like reason to rebel.
Years change things, sure; her fear, her sense of what she's lost, her guilt, is clear.
Shapely as she may have been, beautifully-featured, what she knew
appears to be punishment: she will be hurt. That grief is hers.
ironies which we can tolerate convince us we've escaped, but
following her feeling is regrettably easy; if what she
sees remains what we still have seen, can see —uncaring anger—we
swallow that little pride we’d been feeling from our progress. When it's
gone, we're back to living with our disappointing humanness, the
dawning awareness of brutishness we'd like to hide in the sea.
on the line
pants on the line slapping around with rhythm (wish I were that good)
palms look beaten up the hyper wind muscular time to consider
where they'd lift if blown: onto hibiscus garden? into salt lagoon?
let them dance for now those fates aren’t so terrible calculating risk
they sometimes call it actuarial science it incorporates
a risk, an unknown: a chance they'd fly to the roof then drop on a truck
carrying debris from the remodeling work in Area One
I'd not see them then my favorite pair of pants lightweight for travel
which means I'll check them not when I'd planned to, but now: practically dry
I've moved the line down so the laundry's less exposed Look, neighbors next door
honeymooners ah where they're sitting I see them when I look straight out
don't mean to spy, guys the resort needs customers I'm just here writing
at least now I see why I heard noises next door why they cleaned that room
still a lot of noise I may need to wear headphones listen to Mozart
"and etcetera" (which always amuses me like the dumb flyer
we got, out walking near Lee Highway, for a new restaurant and bar
proud of their "pre-fixed menu") (not a joke) now they're quiet, now
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