The chessboard always lodged between us—
an immovable bolus of intellect,
some parody of good sense & refinement
in a world where we dyed our hair yellow—
rain real,         full of bloom & lightning.

Have you ever heard of Zadar? Well, it's a real place,
famous for its cherry liqueur—

and we drank that stuff and smoked
strong tobacco, moving our marble pieces
in slow deliberation—
curtains peeled back to reveal us there
in Aristotelian concord.

You know, I must have loved a woman once.

I say so
because I danced after a white leotard
which spoke simply and softly,
       warm yeasty lips rising to meet me.

but then, my whole body was olive,
       desire like a red pimento bell,
              dangling there in the sunlight.

I had things to steal,
retained salt,
wore orange, can you imagine?
       girl made of kohl
       and gentle scorpion backside quivering
       in the night air—what wanton hair
       ringed in chlorine—her skin is sweet
       and ssaaaaaahh, it smells of spaghetti.

We slept close to the ground, I know.
We will always sleep there,
even when this skin is gone
and we've fallen out of our bodies,

age: this memory made viscous,
coming up through the cracks thick and violet,
creeping where we'd never—
out of room and spreading its fingers:

strange star, this one leaf
       perched on my head like a goldfinch.

Who lifts their hands, such minute orchestrations: Now

I am pinned to this chair,
hand flexed in forgotten intention—what is it?
amie        the smell of cherries and smoke
               enters my body on its long unbroken broom

Karyna McGlynn