Today's poem is by Mia Leonin



This is not the first time and I am not
The purest grain at the bottom of the bowl.
You are not the first meat to rotate over fire,
Each wave is not heaved onto a new beach,

Rising from the ocean of touches
A rhyme of wrists and ankles
A riddle of seaweed and bone:
Did we gallop into other skins to this same drum?
   Is it rhythm
Or echo—scapula and flattened palm moistened and folding into one?

We have loved before. We have entered the body of other bodies.
But our eyes swear they are meeting for the first time.
Our minds are working harder on this embrace
Than our arms could imagine.


Under the fraction of stars and seaweed and sighs,
Those sturdy leather shoes pulled you into the sea.
Like two blind calves they carried you on their backs

And I followed, our jellyfish sleeves
Billowing out, then clinging
To each new wave.

Fleshy hands. Moonlight of teeth,
Your middle name beating between my ribs.
The tide does nothing but divide and divide.

I cannot go to the sea without dragging you along.
In every ruined shoe lies the memory:
That salt of your breath crystallized, the method
Of your hands, your name rushing between my ankles.

Copyright © 2003 Mia Leonine All rights reserved
from New Letters
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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