Volume 3 Number 1
Fall 2009

 

Night Holding the Scent of Day

Ken McCullough

Tiny nest, perfect, woven from horse hair,
red, yellow, black, white. At the fence
I stroke the mare's throat latch. Chartreuse
of new shoots, red of rhubarb, one gash
of sunlight trapped in the foliage. Curls,
ropes, tubes, darts, turns, leaps. clouds
like two-day bruises. Looking closely,
I can see the wishbone of the scene-
the sacred grove, in miniature, at the center,
the low burn which keeps the garden going.
Linens left on the line all day and forgotten-
sun-drenched, scents trapped in the weave,
of starch, of the wearers, sweat of work,
the heady musk of gin and Gauloises,
juices, male, female, the drool of sleep
on a pillowcase, trace of sweet colostrum
on a blouse, magenta, red-brown, yellow
reflected on the linens-if orchid
petals had taken flight and come to rest.
In one corner of the garden, a fleshy jewel
of light swims within its parameters,
and into evening as the night awakens.
At the moment of change, the linens rain
from a deep blue fist, which, if you enter,
you will be lost-a good thing if you are prepared.
The taste of slate. The movement of veils,
crisp edges between your breasts, osmosis.
I will listen to my wrist on your wrist.
I don't know any ghost songs. If we
have at least one more day together.
The linens remember everything.