MONET P. THOMAS
VENUS IS CLOSER TO ME THAN YOU TONIGHT
We are again,
like we once were, twins
raised together in the Sun’s loving fire,
and playing patty cake behind the Earth.
I can still hear your sisterly hissings
from a perch at 45 degrees,
about the centuries I’ve given up
and for what, a man?
when you weren’t watching
I snuck down to a lover’s bed,
shucking the wings,
that could bring me up to you,
and now I’ve no one but you.
Lean down and kiss my brow,
forgive me, my new shyness.
I asked, but no Oracle would tell me
that love would always remain between us.
You’re a mean sumbitch,
cruel with your undecided weather
and I can say that to you now
you’re five days long gone.
My lover’s body lies
in a borrowed bed
in Salt Lake City, but his head
is in my hands in Spokane
and you, February,
almost laid us both down.
Orion is a coward. I called to him
and not one of his stars blinked.
He kept that hand raised as if to ask,
What do you want from me?
I reminded him of his promise
to watch over us in the dark
of winter, I asked what
was this one last thing
and finally, shining down, he said:
Never trust the stars,
You can’t predict the weather,
Never love in Winter,
February, he’s the devil.
Lucky life provides pain like a knuckle
to the throat when you’re trying to sing. I won’t forget joy
requires comparison. Lucky my father still lives knowing he’ll never give me away
in marriage. He says I used to take up the whole bed with extended limbs, rolling
from dream to spectacle but that’s not the reason. Beds are strange places:
havens, homes to dead skin, I spend so much time with mine
but don’t know it at all. Lucky I can sleep. Lucky when I wake up alone
I remember you wake up alone, too. That’s pain and joy, lucky.