-Dog has a pumpkin head- -Pithlachascotee River -Poems by Peach Delphine

(i.)
 
-Dog has a pumpkin head-
 
it was the season of rhymes,
pig killing, wood burning, whiskey,
you said your brother wouldn’t care
who I was, true enough as he only spoke
to the dog and the stove, his back porch
 
navel oranges, kumquats,
cabbage palms, a bougainvillea blood
dark flowering, eating canned peaches
fished from a cooler of tall boys,
 
you said I was good enough for your bed,
the back of your bike, biscuits at your kitchen
table, second drawer in your dresser, “Sit,
so listen, there’s no redemption,
just atonement, and there’s no end to that.”
 
Sour gum flowering gathered
up into honey, we chewed the comb
as if adopted by bears, living off
saw palmetto berries and grubs,
or the other flesh,
 
thorn of my tongue, word pierced,
we are without, not of, not
within time, hinged sky, a mollusk
drying out between tides, barnacled
wind bent, current woven, taste skin,
taste wind, taste salt, how blade manifests
a dream life, tongue balanced, taut with lace
of scars, a sargassum float of entanglement,
small crabs, sea turtles, it was the season
of arrivals, no hint yet of the horizon
closing upon us, the other fruit
ripening on the tree, absence
overtaking, hand
over fist.
 
(ii.)
 
-Pithlachascotee River –
 
Some Sunday she said from the kitchen to the breezeway,
“Suffer not a witch”, left before dinner,
walked to the landing, where possibilities
survive immersion, current relentlessly flowing,
took the skiff downriver, followed a creek
into the mangrove, abandoned habitation, learned
tide, names of wind, to thatch with palmetto
to polish the blade, circular motion of sharpening,
stone of susurration honing the heart, hatchet of tongue
riving chunks of fatwood to feed hands of flame, cupped
with each evening, there is a singing on the breeze,
a litany of pollination, a triumph of flowering,
night fills my ears as sparks of fireflies float
over the verdure of burning, praise laced
with woodsmoke, wave summoned tide
manifests this form, an expression of sea,
a liver of possibilities, a cloud filled lung,
breath of a thicker atmosphere, ponderous
flight as form reveals itself to sky.
 
Sun folded away in its blue coverlet, you cannot drink
from this broken cup of sky spilling moon, skillet on the fire, clouds stack on the horizon,
spoonbill stretching wing
into shade, egrets lifting over mangrove, we lived
for a while on black coffee and bacon, shouldering
a river door wind walks through, trailing night and a glory
of stars, we gathered the taste of names, memory is flesh,
trees speak of it, questioned which half holds the spoon,
which half lifts the bowl, which eye is on the horizon,
weather coiling beyond curve of sea.
 
As fireflies are shards of air cracked by lightning,
we name ourselves that sea may know us,
salt tasting salt, coiled into wave of remembrance,
the whistle and click each song must pass through
to reach open water where emerald shimmers
into cobalt, lifting such light as we can from all this
broken, edges balanced on fingertips, a divide between
what glitters and what sinks quietly, some days my dress
is burlap, sometimes a hank of sea borrowed
from wave, tide uncoiled from one hand the other dipped
into river, filtering a current of unintended sorrow,
where the gone has lifted onto breeze, silence feathers
its nest beneath tongue, magnolia opening slowly
with morning or question swallowing word, sometimes
I am spoonbill, head down wading, a roseate flowering
in an unnamed forest striding into darkness, sometimes
there is a face in the mirrored waters, sometimes
it is mine, sometimes a voice, wave lifted, sometimes
we speak but the voice is never mine, face of water,
voice of wind, a sound from the edge of all things.
 
 
 

 
Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Former cook infatuated with what remains
of the undeveloped Gulf coast and blackwater rivers. Can be found on Twitter @Peach Delphine.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)