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.