Walks along at middle eve after a still hot
next to some scrubby beach grass
oblivious and warm
beneath a swarm of dive-bombing Kingfishers.
This cat worries not for the birds
and finds the perfect spot to squat.
Kingfishers dive and worry–
Beach Cats do not–
I follow you into an August river
somewhere in Virginia.
You take off your shirt and toss it
careless to the side as you enter
still glassy water.
I follow behind (a clumsy entrance)
scaring off the small fish swimming beneath.
We wait for minutes
feet sinking in the sludge of riverbed.
You are ahead of me scanning the water
while slivers of light slice through the Ash canopy
highlighting your sinewy arms, your strong back.
You are perfect.
Then you turn to look at me
giving the signal
it’s time to move now.
Here I am standing waist deep in a river somewhere
chasing your fish
He Brings His Work Home
He brings them home again tonight.
I watch them follow his heavy feet to our door beneath a laughing crescent moon.
Hoping to let in only him I open the door just enough,
but he swings it wide open wide and they all come inside.
Working through a crowd in the kitchen
I heat up some leftovers while he removes his lab coat,
which often arrives with blood and vomit and God knows what else on it.
We all gather round the table–
to not eat–
but most of them cannot stay in their seats.
Instead they float up and out of their chairs
or in and out of the china cabinet
or even straight up through the table.
They hover above us like human clouds.
I shoot him a look–
he shrugs, as if to say
What can I do?
We try talking to each other beneath the only light
that is on inside the only house
with a light on
on our street
but it is no use talking over a chorus of mourning.
We give up and go to bed,
but they follow us there, too.
They do not sleep while we sleep:
they poke his feet and tug my hair,
some even slide in between us
trying for one last touch of what it is
to be alive.
They will be gone in the morning.
I imagine it is because sometime tonight
in the dark quiet of our room,
while we are breathing deeply and dreaming,
some thing will open up–
like a celestial vacuum
or a great circle of light–
to take them where they ought to go–
All of Lula Belle’s poetry is copyrighted material © 2011 Lula Belle