the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




THREE WORKS
BY TRISH HARRIS

EDEN

Beyond the whir of silence I hear the sagebrush fire's
last crackle,
the wine bottles' clink at the door of the heart,
the last fruit torn from its stem in Eden.
My tree shuddered as he crawled over to me,
hands crumpled against the rough floor,
his blackberry tongue crushed against mine.
I pulled away, then back,
my body thrown from the cliff of resistance,
consubstantial.
A man in my bed is worth two in my mother's, I
thought,
licking the largeness of his Adam's-apple,
a man escaped from that narrow coffin,
antique lovemaking in a crushed-velvet box.

================

FULL MOON

Milklight shudders from the shoulders of the trees
A toad glints dorsal bark beneath the concrete stair.
Breathing slow, I part green sugar-ribbons,
their stems days from swelling shut,
theur green days from brown, their supple soon crisp.
Coat-eaters eep eep from the other side of the crowd
of limbs.
They rustle and stroke within ankled leafmold,
pinestraw.
I crunch their mansions in a timid lumber, booted feet
heavy with misdirection.
Dahl ghouls wait to anoint me with righteous violence.
My oblivion is the cheddar that snaps the traps of
their bloodgreed,
my eyes on the maiden's milky face shuddering above
the dying pines.

================

BALTIMORE

After nine years
we drove to Baltimore
in the dark of night
the city lights rising
surface bubbles
in a cast-iron pot of water
about to boil.

It was the moment of my escape.
Not as I had planned it,
but as it would happen.
He looked over.
Do that (this).
Go there (here).
So I fled,
and everywhere I looked,
an almond-eyed girl in home-sewn culottes
and ponytails,
two dogs trailing on ungraded
country roads,
turned a face
toward the Negress sky,
all awe and hunger and anticipation,
and saw hope hung strangled
from the trees.

Nine years.
I wanted vowels and got consonants.
The curve of his ear was a revelation,
the cusp of a universe
I was breathless to explore,
and now (then) I (she) am
the one who drove to Baltimore,
everything I thought I owned
in a rented van,
my sleeping children travelling
the same distance
twice in two days.
Nine years.
Lady barks and I pat her.
Stay, I say.
Stay.