Seven Books of

Remember this, and pass the rest as salamanders
sliding through the forest: what is forbidden will seduce, 
all else is mere foreplay. On this, the rabbi stops and shares
his drink with me: the only genuine smile is one
which comes  from a lonely child. I lower my eyes, and drink.
A fabricated image blinks, convinced the death
of all good things is trapped in quiet corners. Lizards
and wolves hover and slink, together against the glade.
A stationary presence watches from under a layer of leaves -
There is a medicine for this if I could drink from gills.

The ocean frightens me. Pools and ponds abound.
There are no signs of tenderness watching from
the sky, there are billowed and glowing suffusions of  grey
moving closer in. Further out, a heavily-coated mammal
wakes, sensing a vague disturbance. I eat, mustering out the seed.

At holiday time, the family orders a slender box 
for mother's early pearls. For this, the priest will lift 
his glass:  the lock, complex, and brilliant with color is best
for inviting thieves. This is the great investment now. I love
you less, engaged  in this  and breathing  from the skin.

A portable stove rolls over the floor, attempting to dry
the building here, still wet  from reconstruction. I've spread
my legs, regardless of loss, and only because I can. 
Rudimentary legs, the architect says, the sturdy structures rise
like suns, in spite of your moving hips. I watch a mullet breathe.

Xolotl escapes from under a flame, into an Aztec sun.
A battery slows, and garbles the song
while someone's graceful  daughter smiles
a pirouette onto the sand. The father doesn't drink, instead,
he separates brain from thumb. I make my way toward land.

I am arrived, desensitized, so I can hide, and be a part
of this. All around are clouds and wings and entities
in celebration of glorious past and legend. I see spots. 
I am two-lined  from front  to back. Atlantis sent a  poet's ship
containing loss and longing, deep, and I remember nothing.

Wendy Videlock

If you've any comments on this poem, Wendy Videlock would be pleased to hear from you.

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