Some kind of fire lures me into a hot, scented bath on a hot afternoon,
almost June (against my own advice).
I slide in with a half-glass of merlot, into the bubbles and the place where
luscious, mutual moments bloom in silence, where no other eye can see and perfume goes
Is it real?
I hold the first sip and let a drop rest on my bottom lip for the tingle...melting into my throat,
the wine becomes an oak leaf from the more arid climes of California.
My touches are nine years old and are pressing, folding the tough leaf in half
until it snaps, releasing dusty green leather scent.
I burn my left hand badly, that year, on the steel griddle of a campfire, branding my palm and freezing
my fingers with pressure.
The sharp points of the leaf become a lance (against Mom's advice), bringing on the pain,
releasing the immobility I can take no longer.
I cool the wounds in their wet cloth by holding my hand in the wake
of landscapes rushing by the car window.
Still on the desert's edge, the next swallow becomes a native's acorn grinding lesson,
white flour ignored for a festival day. The air is filled with a scent like bitter almonds.
I know before the telling that the sharpness must be rinsed away in a stream,
again and again, leaving pale sweetness and nourishment behind for the bread.
A deeply royal hue in the glass even now stains my tongue. Enduring oaks are
colored just so, and salty summers stretched out in the blood between my new first grandson
I know now this bright, ageless yearning is never to be quenched as thirst can be,
but bathed in
against my own advice.
Each moment adds a tint to the purity, who holds them in her mouth while her feet
cool on the tile beneath the bathtub faucet, whose heart wide open sees an impossible color
made of many layers, some flavored with deserts and oceans.
This is how time works the gates of soul, how the art of love passes through in kisses,
in tears, in primal sighs and acorn bread. At three I was an old woman; and as mother
of a mother of a father
I will still be in lust as Persephone
wrapped in a winter blanket.
That's how real