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Michael Jennings

From the Book:

(with some thefts from Simin Behbehani)

I came to you as if from a far country
The night was not quite in your eyes
but the evening smoke and the roses of your skin
met in purple shadows

I came through the vague veiled streets
toward some clarity or hunger
You were my fire in the moth-light
my confessor

You danced the stars blind under the witching moon
I crawled in your darkness like the tapping beetle
Our mouths met

Dawn in the desert is a million gold butterflies-
I lived there once among broken stones
husks of bodies
a tale of death and death and death
and women turned to salt
under stubborn hummocks of black cloth

We grow old like the cracking clay
of forgotten rivers
Soon no one will remember our voices
or the glancing light of our tremulous

Was it the wind I came on
lipping your waters
combing the sunlight scarves across your throat

So often now we are tired
and old women I once knew speak harshly
behind the curtain
and the mud of the riverbank
squelches under their feet

I came through bulrushes over moon-glazed bayous
and our bodies became snake-dancing
feathery cries

We cannot love each other forever
except as the stars do
all flame and nothingness

Our skins will grow worn and frail
as papyrus leaves
locust wings
May the burden of pain bring lightness

We lie down to take flight
like the desert sand under the scour of wind

I came like a bird of prey out of the sun's eye
to whirl you talon in talon
down the roller coaster sky

I met your eyes in the forest of being

The rest was just history

Bio Note

Michael Jennings is the author of six previous books of poems, including the collector's item The Hardman County Sequence (based on the photographs of Dorothea Lange with a Foreword by W. D. Snodgrass) and the recently released Orchises Press book Silky Thefts. He was born in the French Quarter of New Orleans, grew up in Iran, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and was a Fellow in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. He lives with his wife, poet Suzanne Shane, on a hill overlooking Otisco Lake in Upstate New York.

is a 32 page hand-sewn chapbook - $8.00



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