A LITTLE ORGAN MUSIC
Love is finding you
the high-def, 3-D
organ printer, extra
cables, vessels, blood-
even if it means
of encrypted script
to deliver unto thee
the newest fangled,
bile-free, techno liver—
so I print out meat
in a dank, unfinished,
displacing the only
god I’ve ever known,
& frankly, dear, it stinks—
this meat, just like
the old meat did,
the kind we scalpeled
free from donors,
fresh-bled from their
own nostalgic wrecks.
HIDDEN DRIVE: DEAR ARTEMIS,
Alone in the lights-out dining room, do you know that green wool coat
you’ve worn now thirteen days, once had a hole in the shoulder
seam, an acorn could fit through?
I’ve been meaning to say it is 75 degrees outside.
& to mend your coat for you.
I’ve been meaning to ask what you meant by The day was a disaster.
It is, after all, fall, in New Hampshire.
How like wounded eyes they look, the scarred parts of the river birch
rising long the road to the dining room—do they weep sap
where your arrows struck?
For thirteen dinners I’ve watched the shoulder-hole, its yawn expels
dusk, while ferns outside go gold, then pale, then, depleted
of water, they brittle & bronze—
they tell no jokes. I wonder what’s their equivalent of laughter.
It’s a coat I would buy in a thrift shop & wear, every day, like you, its faded
hue, at home with slouch—it resembles a childhood couch
where I passed afternoons reading
disposable books—I love that pages, once, were leaves.
Since you arrived, the dining room wine’s disappeared. The cook wonders
who crushed a cigarette on her gas stove each night,
her kitchen, closed.
I like how your laugh echoes in the chairs’ vacant shadows—I have heard
that voice before, spectral bird whose song is a rock
thrown down a well.
Have you noticed night coming on earlier?
Have you looked in a mirror? With just dinners between us, the shoulder
hole’s gash cuts round your arm. Your white shirt shows,
underneath, & you’ve un-showered.
I find them odd, the various maple, ash, sycamore trees—lit leaf-blaze
turned blue with night, how age gets stored in mythy rings.
I can’t remember when I took my own mirrors down, or last showered.
I keep expecting to wake up to snow, & not this summery weather, the way
I keep expecting you will not show for dinner—
then you don’t, or do.
Limbs fall on my way to the dining room, the truths: I’ve piles of favorite
clothes that need to be sewn, like my own mother’s basket
of half-sewn clothes—
I’m no match for a coat that’s that far gone, the dining room floor’s no fit
place to sit, at 2 am, red feathers get caught in the cedar.
You resemble me, somehow—you resemble my sister, caught, in the crush
& plunder of fall outside the dining room,
where the fisher cat’s cry sounds torn
to me, each time
in the dark
wood, now, but when I walk home,
alone, I bear your bow, I dwell deep
in your song.
JANE SPRINGER is the author of two collections of poetry, Dear Blackbird, (Agha Shahid Ali Prize, Univ. of Utah Press, 2007) and Murder Ballad (Beatrice Hawley Award, Alice James Books, 2012). Her honors include a Pushcart Prize, an NEA fellowship, and a Whiting Writers’ Award, among others. She lives in central New York, with her husband, son, and their three dogs, Leisure-Lee, A-Z, and Woofus.