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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The fifteen-year poem

This poem was published by the Rio Review, Fall 2009. I wrote the first draft in 1993 as part of a poetry seminar in art school. The editors wanted several changes, some of which I agreed with, some I didn't. Here is the version I would have printed.


In the darkness
he murmurs
something about rain
           his fingertips on her cool skin

like the light of one hundred
finches, parakeets, love birds
in Hawkes' Molotov cocktail
          whose feathers
swish and float
before the rush of fire

—This stillness
between them

a possibly skillful sound:
rain on the cool roof
wraps around the windows

as sheets twist
around bodies twined
tracing arcs
in the negative space

These moments
           between seconds

the clock chatters quietly
tick-talks to itself
but its black thin arms
aren't moving

Hair and hips sway
to the tune of fingertips
or cold clock hands
The rain echoes the rhythm
of dying songbirds
           against the glass

while quietly
between fingers
           feather light

two pulses whisper
to each other
something about the weather.

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