The Linking of Things
Jennifer Nieuwkerk L-SAW 2009
She was a witness to their disconnecting
when they sat on the porch at a party. Dizzy from mingling, they smoked
and told stories about outer space, how her friend bought real estate
on the moon, and how the early Greeks believed that Venus was two stars
when they saw it standing on either edge of the night. He tried to show her
its location in the sky, but from her point of view, she couldn't follow
the line extending from his lifted shoulder pointing past his eye.
When a leaning shape shadowed the doorframe's orange glow, she saw the house
was haunted with yearbook faces. Chilling as her whisky glass of ice,
a loop of shoebox tortures reeled around her mind in cinematic dark
when she closed her eyes. She leaned on his shoulder for the warmth of being
absorbed in another's feeling. He was moved, and a Blue Moon toppled
from the wicker chair's arm. In the settling beer, she could see the stars.
When he held her hand, their fingers locked like gear teeth. She was alarmed
by her grinding knuckles, the whispered mechanics of their aligning
digits, to the aluminum light fighting for definition in the broken flood.
I am born, said the morning star.
Too soon, said the mirror moon.
* * *
Sitting on her roof, she traces patterns across the sky's scattered map,
whiling hours over wine, wondering what his words meant
and whether in the end they will connect to some constellation
related to her own.
She knows light travels in time.
Glove covered hands steady the merlot against November's lunar wind,
but her fingers loosen grip when a rain begins to drip from faucet clouds.
Time warps as the bottle tips, orange light rolling off shampoo glass,
then slopes down the roof.
They say it was the crash that halved a whole.
The scythe echo threatens to open
night's bruise, and she thinks, irony.
is fueled by disruption. Designing a future
stitched out of past becomes habit, but
that erratic material snags into furious lace.
Half craft, half chance, what's romance
is improvisation. These patterns
show beauty when intruded upon.
which links unlikely things together,
fills the spaces between explanation
to unfurl some meaning in a world
where paradox desire is woven
in the fabric of our braided souls,
though its winning dangles by a thread.
is obscured by reflection. Words beat
the rhythm of a life written in images
as clear as the moon's Peyote rising
onbottles of Belgian white. Evergreens
grip silver beams in their branches
the way she wishes poetry could remember
how the brass light glared off the floor
like a doorknob,
how the foam settled into a quiet mirror,
how their eyes could be two wild shades
of the same color,
how Venus was doubled in a puddle of beer,
how love's percussive ending was a recital
in breaking glass,
how she missed her chance.
* * *
A blue moon is unusual because
the lunar calendar is not a calendar
humans can compute. Big Ben
looms over London, a vulnerable
luminaryplugged into the universe's
but abstracted numbers
keep ticking after the world stops spinning.
Titanic time, the divine child of this earth, castrated
the night sky. Star sex slipped into the silver ocean
and beauty bubbled up from desire's spilling lungs.