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. During drought, 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.