Melissa Severin (Chicago, USA): "Ars Amatoria"

My life repeats,
bobs in and out
of water, misses

nights' seaward
drag against stomach. Lungs
take no prisoners but this mouth
that sops kelp slush; an open window on my face.

                  Here is the thunderhead.
                  Hurricane. If the ocean turned
                  to snow we'd have an avalanche
                 of pine needles to sew shut our jaws.

Tug-of-war with breath,
lassoed voices, deteriorated word-ropes.
 Against the molars, Morse code

of my name once spoken. Becomes it,
once spoken, untrue
for the grave love made; soliloquy
stuck in the tongue pit, monstrously

                   Said yes too much,
                   licked clean plates clean,
                   watched skin go slate,
                   made specious excuses,

for failed concoctions best left to chemists,
undertakers and impressionists. They see
a thing distantly: heart beats in calligraphy,

on a compass, the measure of a termite wing
ductile and trapped among cilia, taxidermied
dromedaries just to show us
what they're made of. Sequels scalpeled,
 into skin like secrets now obsolete.

                  Call brush strokes obvious,
                  the use of plastics, morose.
                  If he gives you a rose,
                 do not knit him a blanket.

c. Melissa Severin 2007