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True North

By ErinEph All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Poetry


In a room far from the Arctic Circle
Smelling of pomander and palo santo
A cow-eyed gun moll with a spookhouse laugh
A boxer’s face, a gambler’s hands
And a long, lean look stretched across his wide alpine forehead
He never sleeps much and smokes only a little
Out of habit, he turns out the light whenever he leaves the room

There was a map of the sky on the wall of his room when he was a boy
He remembers True North when he presses himself to her throat and wrists and painted nails
And her wet cherrystone heart
Surrounded by amateur ambition and delusions of grandeur
In love with exposition
In lust with perceived transgressions
She kisses back
The hum of bluegray smoke and pink electric light, outside the weight of snow and compressed air

“Build me a bower,” she said
In a field near the sea,
The grasses at her pale feet dotted with hoary, hairy poppies
Frigate birds and cormorants swooped overhead until sunset
At night, orphaned satellites plummeted from orbit
Like just another bunch of shooting stars

A cosmology of desire,
Shared histories and a contest of memories
Sestinas of silver birch branches in northern forests
The clouds that form at high altitudes, crackling with ice and ozone
A St. Christopher medal clutched in a fist for takeoffs and landings
Passports renewed because someone said “love” at just the right time

The charts were read, the course was struck
The tides were pulled by the Moon
Scattered over with man-made names
Sea of Vapors, Lake of Sorrow, Marsh of Sleep
All of the words go down in the end
Stop saying that, or I’ll start believing you

The thing about pain is that it demands to be felt
Compulsive seducer
Inveterate charmer
Raw, fuckable, fever dreamer
No one ever had a choice
Or was careful what they wished for

There isn’t all that much time
Get it while you can, drink from that loving cup
Your head is your weapon
Your heart is your home
“It hurt like a motherfucker, but I’d do it again”

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