I Forgot the Earth
Saturday nights we hold each other against the ivy wall in Old Town. Leaves, newspapers, grey birds rise and fall in the shadow of my love, his arms heavy wings and his heart a pendulum. When the high priestess appears in the alley I leave him for a coven. Cauldrons of smoking cinnamon, cedar, sage, the witches cast a circle, call the quarters, open the gates. They chant songs that spiral into woodlands, gold leaves and silver notes I fall through and rise in blue light. They say I forgot the Watchtower of the North, of the Earth. I imagine my love: the salt, oat cakes and wine, the waiting body.
Where Trees Are Blue
We find a place to be reborn. Cedar, moss, deck with golden light, attic for growing and bedroom with bay windows, only lacking ocean or fireplace for me and Rhys to leave our papers. He buys seeds, ducks and chickens. Basil, Jane, Rosemary, all night he paces gravel to henhouse, wanting to kill the raccoon who kills his birds. I haunt the woodlands, weep over mouldy books and paintings, stare through leaf veils for ancestors, faeries, ghosts. He finds me below the hill where trees are blue. He says, you were thinking of him. Violet, you were with him now in the city. I swear not to remember. Stork’s bill, rose and thistle, I go to bed and sew herbs into velvet, murmuring songs to bind the spell. When it is dark he kisses my brow, then leaves for the painted ladder below the stars.
The O Mareys
Rhys’ family takes us in, so for awhile we drift between their homes on red wine and advice on how to live. The sea of the unsaid, silver waves, emerald light, in the woods behind aunt Sylvia’s rose garden the good people sing and stare, and we swim in the glowing water, generations deep. Our baby Alistair, aunt Imogen, Bridie, cousins, uncles Arthur and James, we gather in the winter afternoons, and as they darken, Rhys paces. Persian carpets in hallways of old photographs, he kisses us and leaves. It rains. He sits in stone cathedrals, below stained-glass windows. The O Mareys know how to pray, novenas, litanies, Mysteries of the Rosary.
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