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Best Famous Jennifer Reeser Poems

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by Jennifer Reeser | |

Blue-Crested Cry

 We’re through, we’re through, we’re through, we’re through, we’re through
and – flanking, now, the edges of our schism –
it seems your coldness and my idealism
alone for all this time have kept us true.
Credulous I and hedonistic you: opposed, refracting angles of a prism who challenged sense with childish skepticism – and every known the bulk of mankind knew.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

French Quarter Singer

 Strumming your polished guitar with long, nail-lightened fingers,
where are you now, leaning forward a peasant-dressed arm –
lark on the near side of midnight, my crescent curb lady,
ear to your sound, dangling each with a silver folk charm?
Sweet was your voice for an evening, amid the brash jazzy –
seamless soprano, your scales a tough, platinum thread.
Angel on brick, tipping jar at your feet, were you happy smiling at me through the blonde of your half-hanging head? Monies I dropped in its opening I have forgotten.
Doubtless you spent them with virtue as pure as your song.
And if you didn’t, no damage, oh cantor of sugar: Fair was your all for one night.
You will keep my love long.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

Leaning Over Eros

 She recognizes him at last as Other,
not Self.
I see her in my mind, hot wax about to plummet from the lifted candle.
Should closeness be so vulnerable to fact? The wrinkles in her gown – a troubling grayness amid chaste white – I see as always moved by some upended breeze against their terrace; his face I see as turned, not wholly proved, his faith in her confirmed in that he sleeps.
She scorches one long finger on the flame.
It all takes place unerringly and fluid as Psyche’s first defeat of Cupid’s aim.
And you are.
.
.
somewhere.
Never mind my grief.
It springs from sources better left unseen, when in this life, I scour my own gray wrinkles between our nights.
But they will not come clean.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

The Neighborhood

 I wish I could,
 like some, forget,
and never anguish,
 nor regret,

dismissive, free
 to roam the street,
no matter how
the visions meet.
Remembrance is a neighborhood where convicts live with great and good, its roads of red, uneven brick, whose surfaces – both rough and slick – spread out into a patchwork plan.
Sometimes at night I hear a man vault past the fence, and cross the yard, my door chain down, and me off-guard.
He curses, threatens, pounds the door.
I’m wedged between the couch and floor, ungainly, barefoot, limp and pinned, scared of the dark, without a friend, with only one clear thought, that I – like him, like you – don’t want to die.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

Compass Rose

 I’d buy you a Babushka doll, my heart,
and brush your ash-blonde hair until it gleams,
were Russia and our land not laid apart
by ocean so much deeper than it seems.
I have an oval pin, though -- glossy lacquer hand-made in Moscow, after glasnost came, with fine, deft roses on a background blacker perhaps, than history’s collective shame.
I’ve done my best to compass you with roses: the tablecloth, the walls, the pillowcase, the western side-yard only dusk discloses briefly, in Climbing Blaze and Queen Anne’s lace.
May they suffice for peace when you discover your love is not enough to turn the earth.
I dream I saw a handful of them hover against my pane the morning of your birth.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

Imagining you’d come to say goodbye...

 Imagining you’d come to say goodbye,
I made a doll of raffia and string.
I gave her thatch hair, and a broomstick skirt of patchwork satin rags.
Around each eye I stitched thick lashes.
Such a touching thing she was! That even you could not debate – impassive, undemanding and inert.
Yes, surely she’d cause you yourself to sigh.
Around her breast, I sewed a loden ring to guard her cotton heart from being hurt, then sat down in the fabric scraps to wait, between the rafters and the furnace grate, needle in hand, and never so aware no craft on earth is master to despair.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

This Night Slip In His Honor (after Komachi)

 This night slip, in his honor
flipped inside out – of lace-
edged netting – is the color
of Shaka Zulu’s face;

of panther flower at midnight
where crow and boa doze;
of vertigo and stage fright
in frail Ophelia’s clothes.
I wear it as a symbol.
Its ripped, Chantilly trim I fixed without a thimble, was pricked and bled for him.
A torn band may be mended, but what if he and I disband, no longer blended? My spine turned to the sky, reflecting on my dresser from mirror-fine sateens: the Great Bear with the Lesser… I dream of Shoji screens, and when desire becomes an overlaying itch, the throbbing in my thumbs untenable to stitch, sleek, fitted, with the passion of Shaka Zulu’s face, reversed and fringe-of-fashion, I put it on, in place of achromatic egrets, the vacant crystal ball.
Victoria has secrets.
I am her baby doll.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

Should You Ask At Midnight

 What would I do without your voice to wake me?
Cor ad cor loquitur, I’m loath to know.
Kitsch operas sound, unhesitant to shake me, The sheers undrawn, the heavens hardly showing, My camisole askew, of lace-trimmed black – Not red, not white; not passionate or pure.
I raise the volume, and the voices crack— Vanilla scores: accessible, obscure.
But what would I do without your certain voice? Disjecta membra .
.
.
I am loath to think.
This negligée is sable, but my choice If black had been forbidden, would be pink: The blood of ballet satins, quartz, the lover, That cut from which I never could recover.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

Civilization

 Send your army home to their wives and children.
It is late.
Your soldiers are burdened, thirsty.
Lock the doors, the windows, and here in darkness lie down beside me.
Speak of anything we possess in common: ground or law or sense.
Only speak it softly.
Spiders crawl the crevices.
Violent voices ruin their balance, and they’ll fall – intuit – upon our faces, where I fear them most.
But you’ve heard this terror, and my midnight phobias always move you – cause to remain here.
Leave a light still burning, in some far wall sconce.
Tuck one rebel end of the flat sheet under.
Turn away, self-ruled, to remind me even Sappho was mortal, even Shakespeare, writing of cups and spiders in his winter’s tale.
Send your tin men home, then.
Once I asked your reason to stay.
You said, “Because you’re still with me.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

Miscarriage

 Fold this, our daughter’s grave,
and seal it with your kiss.
For all the love I gave, you owe me this.
Inside of me, she had your lips and tongue, my air of grimness, thin and sad, with your thick hair.
Inside of you, I trust, she was a simple mesh of need and paper, lust – potential flesh.
And there was such pure song in life begun from you, I held the dead too long, as women do, but leaving like you did, when only I could feel the biding, body, bid of what was real, she’s put out with the cur, the garbage, heartache, cat.
Promise you’ll sing to her.
You owe me that.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

By This Pitch And Motion

 In the upstairs hallway, complacent sunlight
stings the walls with gold and translucent almond
over Turkish runners betraying patterns
faded with travel.
At their raveled edges, my daughter slumbers in the room from which this lost sun arranges through a window high on an eastern sill of drapes and black lacquer.
Past the pillowcase where her blonde head swivels in a dream of chocolate, or paint and horses, I imagined rest on the gingham, but it proved only shadow… Surely evening goes by this pitch and motion, by the rasp of fans at the center ceiling, and the purposes of an outside cypress hidden from hearing.
But again it’s day, in which dust turns static.
Almost blank of heart, I’ll descend the staircase with a babbled tune on the landing like a passage to being.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

Sapphics For Celebrity

 In my dream, Celebrity, four pianos
scored the room, and you -- on an antique sofa
near two dark-haired innocents -- asked that I play
something immortal.
Dust motes grayed the air, and a sage-green shadow draped the walls in color like sifted powder.
I agreed, but wandered, untold, too many keys to consider.