I don’t want to forget the walks
after day dissolved the parkway,
how air is an animal draped over skin
in July. We tracked egrets sailing
white over us, in pairs, a half hundred,
until we found them, origami
folded in the needles of slash pines.
Is it like this for everyone? Each nicking
minute, the ritual laments, then without
herald, the familiar, carrying you to clean
fields once more, thankful to be standing
in the heat watching egrets.
After summer rains,
marble thumb snails and beetles
blot the window screens
with pearl and drone. Gardenias swell,
breathing is aquatic and travel
a long drawl from bed to world.
the heat becomes a devil
girl with oven-red lips
who wants your brains puddled
in a brass-capped mason jar,
who wants the silver stripped
from your tongue, the evening pulse
between your legs, yes, she wants
everything from you.
The Living Hour
Caped in sage and chalk moon brooch,
the sky arrives. The offering is wet
grass, a whip stitch of bird song.
How does its nickel pitch thread
April’s blue quartz light?
How does it find hold in the whorl of the ear?
It is not enough to paint a place.
Let me offer my confession, then,
amidst my unseen neighbors, the sly
tarpon cutting tunnels beneath
the inlet, the wild blood of branches.
I am a woman of doubt. I am a woman
running from my youth. I might rest a while
in this little kingdom, not map escape but
backwards liquid floating
down to where plain thoughts await.
It is the dream of all worriers,
to silence the dirge that has trailed us since birth.
Look here: desk window
the city diminished
rolled back its carpet of gears and wailing.
Emma Trelles is the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011), winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Little Spells (GOSS183, 2008). A contributor to the Letras Latinas weblog and to the Best American Poetry blog, she lives with her husband in South Florida, where she teaches and writes about visual art, books, and culture.