Thursday, June 05, 2008

Semi-New Poem: Every Time You Pass

Okay, so for those of you who were in the audiences at the Raving Poets reading series "Heart Beat" this will probably not be a new poem for you because I read it over a month ago. Mind you, I'm neglectful of my little blog sometimes and so I'm finally getting around to putting up some new poetry and, of my new poetry, this is some stuff that got pretty positive feedback (or at least I thought it did). The poem is called "Every Time You Pass" and it's one that all started with the idea of cupping the smell of a woman with one's tongue for safekeeping. Odd, I know, but it was something that just sounding interesting to me when I tried putting it to words. Enjoy.

Every Time You Pass
I had to hold the smell
of your perfume
in the roof of my mouth,
for fear of losing it

Draw in the big breath.

Hold it.

Keep holding
until the room
turns to floaters,
ghost splotches
over egg-shell white,
over off-white,
white noise,
static from a ceiling fan,
helicopter blade beating
drums in circles
into oblivion.

This is how


are always fleeting.

I had to hold it
with my tongue
in the shape of a cup
where the red delicious’s
couldn’t drown it out
in apple
and the peaches
couldn’t seduce it
into being something
that it already

I ensconced it with
memories of mornings
that hung with
my suit jacket over
the back of your chair
while suns slinked
through your windows
with birdsong.

Your blue leg:
a tattoo of trumpeter swans
taking off
the way rockets do
leaving a visible
spectrum of
tumbling dahlias,
blue as watercolor and
daisies that make
yellow ellipses
between their white petal
of: “Stay, stay behind my knee.
Kiss my shin
until your lips
are calcified by the bone.”

The whole time
holding it in,
sheltering it,
reveling it

waiting for the room to spin into black,

passing out

every time you pass.

-Michael Appleby
April, 2008