Now the butterflies have gone
I take off my dress because
the air is too quiet to be alone in.
We cradle cups of tea in bed.
You arch a cello in your mind. We touch.
I listen to the buzzing of my skin.
When you ask me how it feels, I say
‘Like tight flowers opening.’
Like a song sung from a honeyed throat
and I’m still humming the tune.
Now I know what my thighs would like to do
when they seize one of yours and hold it snug
while you’re eating lunch, not making cellos.
They’d sing with the thousand throated jubilance
of sparrows, deep in a dense beech hedge.
No beginning or end. No pause, time signature
or repeat, just giocoso, presto, forte all day long.
My thighs calling to your thighs,
singing our grass-green songs.
There’s a grubby cuff of padding just below the lid
of the Staedtler fineline pen I bought last spring
when her walls were primrose with Post-it notes,
her floor a tangled library of vintage clothes.
This freely flowing pen was far too thin to steer
painlessly through three hours of philosophy
so we played with masking tape and micropore
to find which comforted most. I want to see her
determined fingers hold this pen again, before
it runs dry. Black ink turns grey with time.
If you have any thoughts on these poems, Sarah Mnatzaganian would be pleased to hear them.