after the painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1563
You are catch-less, you are my abandonment—
You are my very own sweet crone.
Timeless slab of ice and raw scrub, you empty me
to pitted fruit-stone, a sacrifice
To the green, green moon.
You stiffen, sexless as the whiskered ditch's roots,
the sink-holed lawn,
the pruned limbs—mere stumps.
You drain the lemon's pulp beneath its bitter rind.
You disclose the corded trunk's grizzle.
Absent desire, you are reduced to offshoot of silver
maple, its thrust from
the throat's barked lock.
Stasis: this flame unfanned. A fallow wake.
Too, you are the snow fleas that swarm each footfall.
You are the breath that winnows the snow's
hard-pack like petaled clouds.
I want this for us:
both the re-leaf and release of furrowed brow and chest.
To feel the blossom of a lover's breath.
To feel you untie the knotted throat.
Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Dunham
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission