"Blue", "Int[e]r[l]ude", "Endings", "Mothers/Daughters", & "Passages" by Abigail Weathers



Blue


at sunrise I set

down that portion of me

and whisper to the room

“Not yet,”

and this is how it is

for at least the long length of another day

or two

I remain, knotted up

against desire—

the thread-pull of leaving



Int[e]r[l]ude


The machine sputters

to silence; black

coffee steams cupped

anticipation, and it has taken

long sips of this early morning

to be, completely,

here, turning

before the brightening day, burning,

and then to remember


(it shrieks itself into being


–a hard start)


that it is not the dead

but the buried who slip

backwards into the cold

smallness of hard shapes


(I come back


into being)


and the morning’s warm

quiet sharpens to jagged

half-light,

emptying-grey,

and waits…

and stays…


(and who is it


that has fallen away?)


The morning unanswered;

The coffee undrunk.



Endings


By evening, we’ve already forgotten.

What needs saying waits

with its wings tucked under.

Beneath the field of heartlong glances

a speckled silence grows.

And the lightning bugs

remind of summers lost,

remind of the when past why of this all.

Night words, dusted with gold and crackling,

remind of a future—time beyond reach.

And the lightning bugs—

(I think I can catch the sweep of their frenzy behind my eyelids.

I think I can keep something for once.)



Mothers/Daughters


You are in the den

starching linen.

I am six years old, your girl,

come in to prove myself.

Backyard birds warble

in time to your belt.


Later, you stand astride

the front lawn,

brick in hand,

and cigarette,

his new car careening backwards

down the drive.

I must prove myself.

I am fourteen, or twelve,

or six,

shaking the birds from their branches.


You are here and there

a lifetime. We never get

too far

from one another.

I love

colliding with

you.


The tumor spreads its fingers

around your throat

and I am six years old

again. I must prove myself.

The birds won’t leave their perches.

There are no birds

or branches.


There is only you,

now, disappearing

beneath the white waves

of your deathbed.


You are gone.

The sea is roaring quiet.

Those birds

are far off now.

Those birds

and their sturdy branches.



Passages

I am going north,

I say to her—

It is like a little code

between us.


Me, with my ungainly

heart, and she, full settled

and circumspect.


I imagine she grants to us

every cliché of young

and stupid love,

unknowing, as she does,

the way our minds catch fire

with each crackling cut.

The way the evening meetings

of our bodies bloom

like brief flowers.




Abigail Weathers is a teacher and copy editor living in Beijing, China. A member of the Spittoon Literary Collective, she facilitates the Spittoon Poetry Workshop and is a poetry editor for Spittoon Monthly. Her work appears in A Shanghai Poetry Zine, Sky Island Journal, SAGINAW, Trouvaille Review, and Identity Theory.