I’m bruised by a memory of you: sitting
on the café porch, drinking bad coffee
and sharing your carambola, watching
characters from my next poem pass by.
Starry-eyed, they stare at the sea behind
us but they don’t see your withering glare.
What on earth do you want from me? I find
you flagrant so I contemplate tearing
this page, editing details, cutting you
out… I want the sea to swallow you whole,
as I eat your carambola. More fool you
because, although I won’t tell you, I know
that just like this devoured starfruit,
love’s balance lies in the ripeness and ruin.
Sometimes I’m convinced you’re a boy
– those small almost imperceptible fists
stretch at my stomach and annoy
my sides – sometimes I’m convinced.
“You’re a girl,” I insist
as you plié, jeté and enjoy
(just a little too much) dancing
atop my bladder. You must be a decoy,
I think, because now my poetry consists
of dislocated thoughts and lines I can’t deploy.
You take my creative spark – of that I’m convinced.
Roses & Salt
Left or right? Which side to sleep on? But,
of course, I won’t sleep. If I sleep I might find
myself in your rose garden. Dreams aren’t
a bad thing, but there is more than the weight
of roses in the air. Too many budding thoughts,
too many burgeoning petals and you are like
no thorn I have ever known. Which way will you face
reclining on your rose garden bench?
Looking away from me, you say
the roses are intoxicating. Wasted words
aren’t a bad thing, but there is more truth
in what is not said. Too many flowery words,
too many unwalked garden paths
and my waking is perennial.
Left or right? Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
When you sleep is there a rose garden?
Sleep isn’t a bad thing, but there are more
roses than I can prune. Too many leaves to collect,
too many scents to dream, too many stems to cut
and when we wake it has all turned to salt.
ABOUT THE POET
Erin Martine Sessions is a Sydney-based poet whose work has appeared in Australian Love Poems 2013, Contrappasso, the Jean Cecily Drake-Brockman prize anthology Long Glances, Sparks, and Swamp. She is a part-time librarian, part-time lecturer and always a poet.