poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ballet Gorgeous

Leg-tight boys lift girls
all-strong/ clean limb-ed in the ballet gorgeous.

Cling-dressed and faces painted
girls in arms and boys leg-tight.

Colored lights and paint-greased faces.
Girls and legs and arms and boys

and girls in arms./ Ballet boys girl-tight
painted faces and limbs clean-strong

sweaty hair sticks to lips greased
dresses cling then flare/ limbs cut clean.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On Being Breathless

Wide open windows at either end of the apartment
will allow the tornado to pass through without ripping off the roof.
This is what one gets, living on the top floor,
this and a back porch up in the flowering trees
from which to look down at the small city and smile
into the wide open
wine of the wind. In France they say the Mistral
will rip the ears off lambs.
I've never seen a lamb I didn't want to kill, God says.
The wind is slamming all the doors in the apartment now.
What sacrifice will appease the whistle? What will it take,
what here would God want?
(I've hidden away my beautiful lambs.
I cling to their oily ruffles when I am cold
they sing me to sleep every night.)
Ignore the sounds of breaking,
hush, lambs. Hold your peace.
God will forget.
God will rush on.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Curse From the Bestiary

When this horse bites the white sides of another horse
the bites run black with blood and new vacancy. In another country,
men make horses fight in black and white.
Two bites like two dead eyes.

Bird, you can caw-haw-haowa but that's just crying. That's not flight.

The little boy with the face like a fox screams.
In black and white he bites your face
as men make horses fight in another country.

The sun comes out and the colors bleed back into the picture.
Sweet vacancy under a tree of blooming faces
sweet pear trees dropping rotten fruit on tombstones,
as he stands there looking like a small fairy-tale prince.
"A curse on you, a curse from the Bestiary," he says quietly, pointing.
Once you dreamed becoming a magnolia tree/ blooms as big as faces
but that was not to be. He could have turned you into a fainting goat
or a bird with no wings and no song. Now this is your future:

all of your lovers will turn into horses
with hunting men on their backs coming for you.
Your mother will sit by the window in the light of lamp oil
burning holes like eyes into the white side of the night.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kiss to Kiss

A kiss on the palm /lasts/ like a plain silver ring
(on the fourth finger)

take notes/ on the trees about to bud
(trees of white kisses dropping)

down as I sleep the sleep of petals, whitely
lip by lip by lip.