I want to show you the cool U’s of pink pleated skin I had cut into my body last May. My torso a corset, breasts a dime bag four pounds off my chest.
You’re in your hotel, the canals lap with a married funk—bay, piss, algae, tide.
Saturday we’ll meet in San Stefano. You’ll give me my microscope dragged through customs in a carry-on-- I wanted it back like our daughters from camp, an old saw that doesn’t need rubbing.
Even wine won’t make me lay my palm on your thigh but confused alleys I’ll take your hand, touch our oldest habit before rain breaks on the bridge. We’ll share your umbrella instead of our lips.
In the downpour my fingers will braille my bag until I find my own familiar collapsed shape on the bottom of the satchel our child gave me last year when I didn’t have a place to store things. I’ve carried it everywhere since.
This day no dregs to muddy The broth’s thin skin Fat waiting its skim this lush mouth Open and new green
There’s a moment leaves unfurl That confuses with fall A red edge and latency My eye a camera
Obscura throwing the future Upside down The cortex and atlas tip of my spine Terrified with no film How will I remember Clean sprockets pulling gelatin Toward its logical end One stunned frame at a time
for my mom
You are dying every day as much as me. I avoid the letterpress
and its expectation of lead arranged one sort after the next upside down, backwards, a Roliflex of type and ground glass remove.
Easier to space letters when it’s someone else’s words. On the porch grapevines emasculate the trellis, smother it with wild.
I will miss your gentle face. I’m swimming backstroke but you’re dying
as much as me or maybe more, every day our amber sky. At the gym you hand me your hat.
-- Laurie Macfee is a poet, artist, and non-profit art administrator. From 2015-2017, she coordinated then directed the writing program at the Vermont Studio Center. Publications include Forklift, Ohio; Ninth Letter; Tupelo Quarterly; Blue Lyra Review; Terminus; and the anthology Change in the American West, among others. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and abroad; she is currently finishing her first manuscript.