And Having Said So, I Packed My Bags and Left For Arkansas

Brent Long

At the lost and empty place where
we have all held quarter at one time
or another there is a woman who comes
toward us the first cold mornings and

She knows before we do
nights we wake up with the
bedsheets torn, clumps
of our hair in each fist

She can sense whatever it is we require
She knows how little we will settle for

She presents her advantage as art that
we might hang from our own walls

She can speak nine languages

She states as fact the stars
we sleep beneath are prayers
that have fallen short of heaven and
backs it up by calling forth the sunrise

First light of our sex
the fields are pulsing

Whenever she is planning a visit
we know about it well ahead of time
because the moon blossoms fill with hornets and
a steady breeze comes forth to sweep away the tell-tale
layer of dust that has settled over the bedposts

She always stays the night

When she lies down beside us
locusts in the trees
sing like mourning doves

We close our eyes

We do not sleep

The 2River View, 2_2 (Winter 1998)