tagErotic PoetryHer gods counsel her...

Her gods counsel her...


Her gods counsel her as she waits for a letter:

This is the price of passions, says Buddha
Unrequited love is most powerful.
He sips his macchiato, adds milk
to preserve the balance.
You must make peace with this
dichotomy; ecstasy and anguish are the same.
You must encompass them, or be lost in your own
jagged mountains.
He manifests his Nature in a biscotti to distract me;
I manage a smile.
He sighs, points at me with his spoon:
Climb the ladder then, if that's your answer
Stand on one foot for twelve years, arms raised, waiting for word.
Throw yourself into a bonfire and translate that way.
But taste this first: it's a Peruvian dark roast.
If you must live in bittersweets, after all…

I don't know, he says. You talk to her.
Freyja smiles, brushes my hair off my face.
You need a trim, baby; your bangs are getting long.
Think of it, she says, as a simple force.
Love exists independent of its object; it’s a tidal thing.
Be in love with the moon now;
let this be your good luck charm, just
a way to become full. Let them be figures in a dream.
What you have is real enough; already this memory,
an independent genesis. Stop hurting yourself with time.

Poor thing, she croons. Fidelity is so new to you, and
desire such a fierce familiar. If I told you more
you'd ignore this purification, live outside yourself.
You haven't touched your hot chocolate.
She warms it with a fingertip.

Skunk grows impatient. Just tell her everything,
he says, tell her right now, and see where that gets her.
It won't matter anyway, and maybe she'd be better company.
He glares at me. You know she loves this, secretly; she's wearing it
like a stripe, like a Hawaiian hair shirt. All this poetry and agony, he spits,
for a season, for biology and basic heat.

You know it's more than that, says Freyja. She licks
steamed milk from her diamond fingernails.
You see she's on new ground here. Old ground,
grunts Skunk. The oldest.

As they leave,
Skunk gives me a new pen.
Buddha leaves the floor strewn with lotus blossoms;
the barista scowls and brings a broom.
Freyja last, kisses
her fingertip and touches it to my lips.
Speak plainly, she says, and let it go
like a wave over you. I know the coffee
has a scent like civet and every
ripe plum catches your eye
so stop waiting. We'll be your lovers, and this food
and this moon and this ticking clock, this rich moment.
Try not to worry.

Corybantes bus the table, sweep
falcon feathers and jewels
into a dusty pile. I leave an extra dollar,
carry my paper cup away like a grail.

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