RC deWinter

the way of things

october's breath has stripped the nap

of summer's velvet nights

i sit wellwrapped in chilly dark

serenaded by the song of crickets dying

the faintest echo of what was

a choir thousands strong


the supple green of maples

bronzed and fallen to the earth

complains in rusty whispers as i

a thoughtless madonna crush them

making pixelated patterns i cannot see

on this inkblack moonless night


all the while knowing but not wanting to

this is the fate of everything alive

the silent spiky wheel gives no warning

as it rolls relentless but unprejudiced

across a landscape invisible

to the keenest most discerning eye

metanoia

alone in the fading afternoon

i sit with indecorous thoughts

born of desire resurrected by

the bite of bourbon too early

and flesh too long neglected


it’s good no conversation is required 

every word fluttering on my tongue 

is unsuitable for public consumption

your flesh a dish best tasted at a table 

for one


washed in the unexpectedly vigorous

sunlight of late autumn i undress

and read you in the curves of my body

flowers of flame scrawled in the passionate

restraint of a man too long alone


my fingers trace the contours of desire

fault lines permanently tattooed in the

invisible ink of the unfulfilled

as every nerve hums a hymn to the world

we created from the loam of our souls


now wrapped in nothing but memories

i dance a partnerless pavane into a future

i must create from the ashes of that world

and the unquenchable shimmer of hope

burning beyond the reach of despair

bitter honey

tiny spiders with electrified legs

crawl through my brain

weaving dreams every night


great webs of disconnected memories

patchworked into uninterpretable collages

pain and love loss desire


all of this visible on my face

a fine outofsequence network 

mapping all my triumphs every mistake


yet people say i’m beautiful 

and i’ll take it though i know 

it’s only the makeup of projection


so come adore me in tender words

what else can i own 

in this unforgiving world

reveille

it's one of

those stifling summer

days the // kind

that makes you

feel it's all you can do to

breathe // even sitting


perfectly

still you sweat // ice cream

drips from the

cone before

you can catch it on your tongue

and somewhere in the


sky ella's

singing too darn hot //

and as much

as some rough

and tumble loving would be

a gift from the gods


it is too

darn hot // so i close

my eyes and

think cool thoughts

immediately shattered

by my traitorous


heart pounding

in the rhythm of

you // as all

the soft pink

tissue you

loved to touch and taste swells in

a salute to lust //


there are times

alone is a good

thing and this

is one of

them as i surrender to

your insistent ghost //


and // lost in

the luxury of

abandon

i become

you and me and everything

we were together //

RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2/2017), Now We Heal: An Anthology of Hope (Wellworth Publishing, 12/2020) in print: 2River, Event, Gargoyle Magazine, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Plainsongs, Prairie Schooner, Southword, The Ogham Stone, Twelve Mile Review, York Literary Review among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals. She’s also a winner of the 2021 Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Contest, with anthology publication forthcoming.

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