Kimberly Cloutier Green
In the lamp’s cone
of soft light
the moth’s sudden
and the slow-wing scent
of mock orange, single stem
in a water glass
A few books at rest too—
in one, a girl is just now
slipping into the same cool pond
alight with the dazzled stars
There are things you can say
in one language
you cannot say in another
so the books exchange
a violet breath
The words and the hushed
spaces between words
sigh and turn
over in their sleep
forgetting all they meant
You must have read my mind,
two cut-out hearts, made from scraps
of cotton gauze, airy material,
and laid upon a white paper field,
one atrial curve just touching the other,
knew I’d blow one soft breath,
to see the unfixed image slip from its page,
lift against gravity and briefly glide,
then fall in the wordless and everywhere light
these meant-to-be-dismantled hearts were made in—
Make me something I can’t hold, no ink, no glue,
make me something true.
She has slipped off her shoes
and climbed the stone steps
to the camphor trees overhanging the yard,
where she sits now to cool
her feet in the grass—
close by, her child listens to birds.
His absorption, briefest hush,
is a kind of absence.
He has always been fastidious—a neatness
in his small weight, his close attentions, that quick
pulse in the blue vein at his temple—
asking again and again and again
the names of birds.
She keeps an unfinished story in each
pocket of her heart—longing
for everything, for nothing, for radiance
is every tale’s beginning.
In one, her body, its hungers, is a wide
river he crosses on a bridge the birds
have made with their wings.
He’s forgetting something she thinks
seeing him wave from the far bank.
Meanwhile the trees in the yard
pour down their green light.
Thrushes she says
as he strokes the rough
bottoms of her feet.
Kimberly Cloutier Green is a poet, collaborating artist, and spiritual director living in Kittery Point, Maine. A MacDowell Colony Fellow and recent Pushcart Prize nominee, she is a recipient of the Aldrich Poetry Prize and a Maine Community Foundation Martin Dibner Fellowship in Poetry. Her first full-length collection of poems, The Next Hunger, was released in April, 2013, by Bauhan Publishing/UPNE. She was the 9th Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, NH.