This summer season

This summer season
you reach
to catch a woman.
She’s moth.
You’re night.

And she’s safe for three months,
till winter
makes you blink.

While you wait for
season’s change to
clear your mind and make
the mask redundant,
you fill spare moments
with busywork,
new words
onto fresh embellishments
running around the collar,
sleeves and hem
of your kurta,
that invisible one
you imply you disdain to wear
most times,
even in May.

Counting on its faint silken scrim
to almost-hide
your brilliance and fire,
wielding skills like
intermittent broken
you swarm the yards,
disarming the enemy.

You’re masterly at doing things like
there will be some corrections required,
something most women can’t resist.

But there won’t,
for you were never that graceless.
You only play at that game.

I could never not ask a question,
you write now,
and not to me.

Here’s mine,
some few things your silence
begs me not to say:

Why did you touch me,
if you knew
who I was
and you knew you?

why did you touch me,
if you didn’t know
who I was?

How I choose to tell of myself

Should I darken you
with me, sluice
over you like water
spilled from a vessel
kept in the center of
my heart, to justify
the way
you say I stain your

Should I loosen
my words and
like Angel Falls, they slide
in a
glib rush,
held back by no
ten different ways
and more, y mas,
the same,
again, y otra vez,
what I hold

Should I shimmer
my double wings at you,
and catch and smear
their summer-dust
across your brow,
to, fairy-like,
beguile you

Can you hear a quiet
one that binds me to a
a land I walk, my feet

When I write:

summer cherries
their stems like brothers
dark sweet hearts

can you see narrow stems
joined (by a scar) to form
a five-point
star, airy blossoms, crooked
branch, ancient tree (a cousin
to the rose), un-thorned,
yet fierce when taking soil, sun
and storm to mold
five ox-blood-colored hearts
that hit my tongue
with supple
containing lots of cool,
a lot more sweet,
a little tart,
and something
of that

Soft basket (edit 2)

A basket slung over my shoulder
by leather straps, its belly
shaped like a plum,
wove of three kinds of grass —
thick-striped —
holds a stone,
a shadow-self that comes and goes,
places where
I touch the ground,
a river, a sea,
the hot-metal sun,
the frigid moon
in a blue-black sky,
colored lights,
a walnut (or two), brinjals,
an apple tree in bloom, in fruit,
and how one night
I dreamed your name —
its cursive strength.

You called.

I came and touched
your face, buried my fingers
in your hair, swallowed
your wine. We talked,
and kissed between the words.

© 8 Dec 2007, Heather Quinn, all rights reserved; edited 9 Mar 2013, 16 May 2013.

By way of the northern sky (edit 1)

In the light that enters morning
by way of the northern sky,
a Swede encloses a Finn in his arms,
absorbing her darkness,
softening with his smooth brow
the recurve tension of her lips,
ignoring that she took him for herself
before ever he took her as his own. 

Unbalanced in their sufferance,
they spun out music, children and,
in some of us, dance.
They echoed with the sound of you
before ever you came
gliding in passerine suppleness,
music under your wings, landing
with a husshhhh,
with a flutter, like a passing dove.