After Child Picking a Fruit
To know Pennsylvania, its farmland and deep quiet
I had to go to France. To birth the little peachling
I paint the furze of the cheek, urge the dyad
toward deep shade. Blindness is a lane
in the dark, an alleyway of speckled stuff
cast off by horse chestnuts. Woody peach stones too--
I have dreamed in time's blue interstice
of a genderless life hung limp as pastel sheets.
I cannot make a child but with oils, yet
happy vantage, bedclothes stirred by a breeze,
sister women suckling mouths, sweetmeats
filched by my oiled brush, nursery loves.
In the garden, ground snails underfoot.
Phantom smoke from a studio lingers in my hair.
Thinking s-curves, I meld the woman's hand
to a branch. Hunger its fate, I mean the child's,
boy or girl, against the figured silk of a pink gown--
they will pity my late blindness, sun-soaked dream.
Why not paint an idyll? The night we spoke of
contraposto, my friend licked a charcoal stick,
and in his shirtsleeves, conjured up a dancing girl.
Carol Alexander's poetry appears in various anthologies, among them Resurrection of a Sunflower (Pski's Porch Publishing), Broken Circles (Cave Moon Press), Through a Distant Lens (Write Wing Publishing) and Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Vol. 1. Her work can be found in numerous print and online journals such as Bluestem, Caesura, Canary, CHEST Journal, Chiron Review, The Common, The Ekphrastic Review, Gravel, The High Window, Matter, One, Poetrybay, San Pedro River Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Split Rock Review, The New Verse News, Soundings East and forthcoming in Home Planet News Online, Southern Humanities Review, J Journal, Third Wednesday and The Main Street Rag. She is the author of the chapbook BRIDAL VEIL FALLS (Flutter Press, 2013) and the poetry collection HABITAT LOST (Cave Moon Press, 2017).
The Ekphrastic Review
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