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Category: Cecily Parks

Love Poem

I run with my mouth open. I open my mouth to breathe

into yours. On a whim

the Queen Anne’s lace offers the roadside a galaxy.

I run. You take care of my breath.

You take care of it again.

Is this trust

or a consequence of summer’s washes and concoctions?

Like one admonished for not darkening enough

of my nights, I ask further into the inflorescent

quiet. Once a woods, always a woods.

Sheet of mist on the unmade bed.

The sky begins at my mouth: star, moon, meteoric truck.

I find the wind. You find my west.

The contours of the pasture

repeat the contours of animals who wake

in the promise of grass.

I love exhaustion. I love it again.

from O’NightsFind more by Cecily Parks at the library

Copyright © 2015 Cecily Parks
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

The Winter of Amateur Cardiology

At this old desk of orange wood striated by dark wavy lines, I think

of electrocardiograms, heartbeats shimmying under my palms in a

white room in winter. A window to my right, gray sky, twitchy bare

branches. In the green of summer, a window full of maple leaves, I

liked to think that I lived in a tree. Now hot water circulates to the

silver radiator, knocks and wetly hisses. A painting hangs above the

desk, to the left. To look at it, I lift and turn my head so my chin is

over my heart. The radiator knocks. In the painting, a girl in a white

dress followed by a white dog walks beside a pond. The dog is in

mid-stride, one front paw a pendulum. Where I live, there is a pond

where the bankside winter grasses seethe in the wind as I run past

them. A red screech owl with a heart-shaped face and white-flecked

wings lives in a tree there. The owl’s feathers match the pattern of

tree bark. The owl can resemble a broken branch, its call a whinny

or trill. I’ve never seen it. I’ve seen the elderly bird watchers at dusk,

whispering, the black wings of their binoculars over their hearts.

from O’NightsFind more by Cecily Parks at the library

Copyright © 2015 Cecily Parks
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Morning Instructions for the Doctor’s Wife

Accept the window

that gives you glass, the dawn

that gives you the maple branch

with a single bud, meadowlarks

singing where you can’t see them.

Keep your black nightgown on,

more night than gown.

Wolves in the wallpaper.

Read an article about a man

who coughed blood. If you don’t learn

who lives next door to you, you

can leave the curtains open

all the time. Only at certain times

can a body be sexual. The doe

that meets your gaze in the meadow

isn’t sexual. When surgeons split

the coughing man’s chest with a saw

and then his lung with a scalpel,

his body wasn’t sexual.

At night the moon pulls

leaf buds out of the branch with silver

instruments. If you don’t learn

how many bodies the doctor

places his fingers into

in a single day, yours will always

be the only. Inside

the coughing man’s lung, the surgeons

found a fir tree. The dark interior

of a lung or a leaf bud, imagined

long enough, becomes a wilderness.

Your mind can do this

in the morning when you don’t have

a body. Wilderness isn’t paradise.

from O’NightsFind more by Cecily Parks at the library

Copyright © 2015 Cecily Parks
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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