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The Blonde Path

When I visit hell I carry a paper girl with me

As currency. Black minidress with white tabs

That fold over her shoulders.

A demolition after my own heart.

The hostess searches my bag at the door.

She confiscates my red marker,

My syringe filled with mortar & bricks,

& threatens to banish me if I am heard

Listing the names of flowers.

She shows me to a table where my past lover

Sits by himself. His eyes are shifty & seductive

As spring flowers. He is the one who taught me

Always to have a second rasp of voice

Behind my voice. I am grateful.

My eyes are accurate as green canoes.

He tells me stories of explorers

In undersea caves. The ones that go for miles.

Each time he touches me,

The sky drops fifty feet. I tell him

The three main ways I don’t want to die.

I tell him I’d like to live in a lighthouse.

He doesn’t seem to know when I’m lying.

He takes a cigarette without asking, & asks

Where my better half is.

It will not break me.

Forsythia, oncidium, daisy, a light tingle

On my shoulders as if I were just out of reach

Of an invisible whip’s crack.

Sweetheart: a miniature of the original, as in roses.

Whisper forget-me-not & see where it gets you.

You don’t know if you’re coming or going.

When I come to you it will be

From a great distance & it will be likely

That I unwind a spool of wire

Behind me, somewhere connected to something

I planted in my sleep.

I’ve postponed spring for now

& look forward to the summer.

I see the bride in everyone.

Time-lapse clouds roll overhead.

I make lists just to get the feel for

Crossing things off.

Inject a house into the horizon, inject a secret

Passage, a secret room, a waterwheel

Of jealousies attached to the house,

A fire far in the backyard, large enough

So the nearing boats will have to choose.

Something is wrong.

In the end, aren’t there always stars?

What is missing is the porch.

from Neck of the WoodsFind more by Amy Woolard at the library

Copyright © 2020 Amy Woolard
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Amy Woolard Poems

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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