Today's poem is by Jennie Wrisley


Weeks of over one hundred degrees.
The shy gecko stops to flash a pink
tongue into a drop of water
I've spilt before fleeing.
The slow surrender of green
and the textures of that color—
everything scratches, cracks, burns.
The mind as parched as the rows
of dead maize, and flammable.
The season of dull, aimless anger
and terrible desire.
We want each other and we want
each other, but conversations
are only kindling for future rages.


The crabby, heat-dazed duck chips
her own egg, so I steal it,
warm it, shine a flashlight
through the shell daily to watch two
webbed feet kick against the glow.
Then one day they are still.
So I crack him out of his liquid world,
where the floated, boneless, his gummy
little wings and feet, his Buddha belly
unsupported by a spine. Eyes that seem
know, and a plant bill that smiles.

I swear:
That smile was positively sublime,
That smile of the unborn, the uncalcified.


I swear the first garden was under water.
A liquid world. I swear Adam and Eve
had no bones, they floated, weightless
and gummy, I swear they spoke a liquid
language. Words of water, with taste:
Adam said Love, and it was this Eve took,
the briny sweet, and when they were cast

their new bones creaked and ached,
they felt their bodies become heavy
with knowledge and calcium,
they labored up the beach
as the brilliant sun stole
the last drops of innocence
off their backs. They looked at one
another and did not know
the other as they had thought,
but they knew they wanted.
And in their mouths, the first thirst.
The land was dry, and hot.

Copyright © 2010 Jennie Wrisley All rights reserved
from Copper Nickel
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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