Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ralph Monday- Two Poems


I want to get lost in you,
an autumn leaf buried in the
Litter of the forest floor, not

Because I know you or
Myself. I need this, the
Addict's needle, Hamlet's

Desire for Ophelia.
You live on magazine covers,
A classroom seat,

The imagined grains of
Beach sand. I would not
Give you roses, chocolate,

Lover's songs. These are
Not your desires. I will
Choose your need.

With lowered eyes you
Will accept my hand's
Offerings. I am your

Grail, the leaf that
Fell on you. Your tongue
Deciphers the message.

Your musky trail fills
All the streets, the odor
Of your passage.

Fortified, I know
mine is the hand
that you hold.

By the Fire

The campfire threw out sepia embers
Matching the dark motes of your eyes.
You poked at the dying flames like
A lost child confused by cursive writing.
I never meant to lie you lied. Mated
Twenty years since high school, three
Kids, a mortgage unaffordable, taken
Out only to please your desire, the river
In the dark below spoke true as it tumbled
Over the rough rocks you formed.
I mean I said he is only a friend to protect
You, our love. The dark huddled closer,
Your shivers ungenerated by the owl's
Hoot, the sun's last rays. The late night
Texts, doctor's appointments never met,
Stained panties tossed carelessly aside,
Was the Rosetta Stone you didn't bother
To bury. I never saw his face, your lover's
Ghost haunting my house, this shadow
Who finally after two Christmases announced
His present by mistaken beeps on a cell
Phone, his suburban magi tongue thinking
You were at Bethlehem instead of our bed.
I drowned the fire with water from your
Canteen, drank the final drops so that there
Would be no baptism. Turning away I gave
You thirty pieces of silver.

Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. This fall he had poems published in The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review, and is represented as the featured poet with 12 poems in the December issue of Poetry Repairs. His work has appeared in publications such as The Phoenix, Bitter Creek Review, Impressions, Kookamonga Square, Deep Waters, Jacket Magazine, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review and Poetry Repairs.

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