Wendy Burk

Crying for Salt

I.
Just as we marry, with our attention gone
past the obliging bride
and mounting the veil, you, little bird,
we have waved across your death. We
amuse our hats with a spectacle
to occupy flowers upon the place
our circus circles, fainting.

II.
Make what you will: we never tomb
without dying. What an attachment
has authored our rope! Less an infant,
a little streetcar, regarding
his life cord still,
detached, the night intact.

III.
Rope of milk, that jealousy passes
beneath its reflections, all she has made
again is yours. We may throw down a rose:
a stem-twisted rose. Such heat will explain
the night immense, the strokes we bring
through the danger of movement.

IV.
Perfection, if you nurse love,
the saints cry to your salt! For our hands,
touched by chance, keep the rare
moments of a breath undressed.

 


Phosphorus

An enduring without sensible heat.

I.
No, it's not the last day of the world, but I really need this.
All day long, people walking towards me, something shining
out of their mouths: are you bringing
light for me? No, they don't want me. They barely know
to want themselves. But look at their faces,
their chins, how peaceful they are with it!

II.
I burn home. Around the table, my neighbors, glowing behind their faces like toy lamps. They are blue at dusk, blue crystal, under a light that leaves us. If I could lift my hand, reach into my head, and pull out the beads of my fate-necklace, hot like an agate. Although it is not the last day, although for the rest of my life that hand will be deformed.