Three Stanzas Containing a Theme

Three Stanzas Containing a Theme

As all the women in my life had done it,
with rings through both lobes,
then others creeping up the curvature of the ear,
a crescent made of ellipses.
But beauty in the variation, too,
with dogged studs like stars in one
(An allusion to celestial bodies is recalled),
and another, more coy, closer to its master.
They were all as old as we were.

Switch it, to things that reign supreme in love,
curled silver glinting in the winter light.
A hoop that twists and twists and shakes,
Reach out! No, if only you were a dove.
I could hold you then, alighting on my hand.

She told me she hadn’t read anything in years, so I bought her your book. You, with your beautiful black-on-black t-shirt and jeans, your sparkling rings engaging your fingers in copulation. Your teeth, chalk-white.

It’s not that she wasn’t grateful – she was, I could tell. Such a nice, thoughtful gift, she kept saying, so kind of you, really, so glad you thought of me.

Jealous in the abstract of hoop earrings,
then specifically, in the way they floated below your ears,
like a boy chasing a wheel down a hill,
always bouncing and skipping one step ahead.
We envied you – your success – which you had suckled on always,
pleasantly so, as if it came naturally.

She has the book in her hands, peering into it,
but in the abstract, as if in a different dimension
and the words are but hashes on a clock,
personified dust particles.
There is movement, which sifts this into life:
A candle flicking semi-circles of the moon,
then blown out, singular smoke-ring rising to ceiling
like an escaped earring.

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