In the last hour of the day, forgive the mannequins
for undressing in the store windows along Ipanema
leaving their pretty clothes in piles, unfolded,
and fraying at the feet of pigeons. Allow them
to enter the metro below the city with bottles
of cold beer pressed to their painted lips.
And if they should spill a little onto the floor,
forgive them, for this is their first attempt at flight.
Property stealing property: a body necromancing
its own shadow and then the shadow of another.
And who wouldn’t want a fugitive body like this?
A foot chalking a valley black and bright beneath
a 24 rhythm. A mastered tongue willing
to stumble over the cobblestone of a lover’s wrist,
hem a lover’s fraying foot with the needle and thread
of the mouth, the last bit of breath hovering above a bed
like a cloud of bees drunk on hyacinth and their own
bee lust. Oh, all of this flight and not one body sad
or broken like a bird’s blue egg in the tines
of a rhododendron bush. Yes, the heart yearns for such failing.
Will you allow it to fail? It is failing anyway, with
and without your permission. O dummies dancing
in the valley of the dying, how well you understand the rage
that keeps us human. How well you live forever.
Copyright © 2013 Roger Reeves
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.