Poetry by Selma Carvalho
A dying in September
Clouding light of tailfin green, dead weight of hornbeam, bramble bush of bleeding berries, snail ridge of shelled peas, pot braise of beef shin, winding road of wuthering wind, trotting horse of glass-eyed hearse, silent self of squelchy earth.
Into the darkness flares a fin of light / Me spiralling across the world / In search of a silver-screen lover / Love stippling in the wingspan of a smile / A soul summoned in recognition / A lifetime of expectation triangulated in a moment/ You appear tonight red-gilled with guilt / It’s been so long / The trees are beading buds on bald branches / My body curves into a chronometer / It gathers time, it barters time, it releases time from its hold / The distance between us is a spreading silence / This silence, this tomblike silence is a death / I want to be resurrected as a story / A waterbody with ancient tidemarks / A branching past, a flapping future / Women are fools wherever we live / For aren’t we all just a heave? / An inhale and exhale of breath / Leaving behind a tinder vagina.
curl of cat,
half-formed daughter, stubbly man―
weathered down, moss-grown―
layer me like tree-rings.
feather and down―
the fallow ridges of duvet dunes,
the wet lips, the warm breath, the sour smell.
this moment wrung clean of the songs
that cried us to sleep
stretches its expanse of bare light
and holds in its palms dreams peculiarly rich.
this moment passes into other―
disrupted by doorbell, the silence shifts,
cleaving the contours of our bodies,
a graceless unravelling
of arm and leg into mid-morning.