The Red Shutters
Evenings, you pinned violets in your hair,
and we walked, our eyes turned to lives
on old avenues, townhouses.
Our city made us ache.
We wanted everything—
lives of women strolling children,
men to send us orchids,
chocolates we could only buy one by one.
One night we glimpsed a young man
framed by red shutters,
a single lamp on his body
as he moved quickly by.
We shivered. We would go
with our white bull into the sea—home.
Maybe he was what we sought.
We said little.
Your waist thickened,
lines around your eyes
worked wedges between you and men.
You admitted a history of walking past shutters.
You were mindful as a saint
adjusting the heater for me
then lighting your cigarette
and tuning the music.
On the radio a girl group warned
the boy waiting too long to hurry home.
You cracked the window and I shivered
with the stars, cold pinholes in space.
Puffs of smoke warmed the air,
dissolved ice on windshield glass.
And was it revelation or really only fancy
two cutouts, hearts thawed on glass?
You a monk in disguise turned the talk obscure,
Saint Michael his foot heavy on the serpent’s head,
his sword held high in conquest.
You said the best prevails,
and that is love.
How to tell you about my kind of love?
I wondered at the stars, the mysteries of days,
wondered if that was the selfsame serpent
naked Eve met at the tree.
Was evil often an effort
to grab and own what we fear losing?
You loved the music and you said
you loved the world, the whole world
cigarettes and Motown
and pretty girls who let you down
and God and all the saints
but nothing in particular.
I recalled as love the sinuous feel of body near body,
warmth of breath rushing over skin.
I saw myself then stepping from your car
onto an ordinary Arkansas highway
like naked Eve stealing the jewels of Eden,
like a hypocrite nun shedding her habit,
hoping for a ride anywhere else,
my blood red drop, the Sacre Coeur,
dangling on a golden chain,
as plain and obvious and easily targeted
as any serpent’s head crushed by a busy saint.
Red Rubber Ball
On the street I hoped a poem
Would roll up beside me
Like a red rubber ball
Little ball I would toss you high
And catch you fast
Or I might twirl you in my hand
O my red rubber ball
You are flying and I am flying with you
We are one—poem and self unbound
We are high velocity travelers
We are the hypnotic red streak
Pleasure unbridled in motion
Rushing in space to nowhere
Moira Saucer @MJSEyesOpened is a disabled poet living in Alabama. She completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas with a specialty in poetry. She also holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Delaware. She enjoys growing ornamental plants and binge watching British mystery and crime television shows.
Banner Image “red yellow & black ” by Robert Frede Kenter. Tweets at @frede_kenter