Masks, by KB Ballentine
I dream olive trees as rain pings glass,
veins windows in swirling tapers,
remembering the heat of Greece, you.
Gnarled branches offered scraps of shade,
Ionian Sea too far for fondling breeze
under blue sky burning.
I discovered you there, where all roots dive deep.
Marketplace stacked with cobblestone,
woven blankets, pottery fired and glazed
like grandfather’s grandfather shaped.
You hovered like a butterfly, Eros’s breath
searing my shoulder, nibbling the nectar of my lips,
fingers like wings brushing skin.
But somewhere across the ocean,
past frosted caribou-crossed land,
you withdrew. Psyche lures, and you listen
to voices from the past, sputter with doubt, fear.
Oh, petalouda, which is the real you?
KB Ballentine has a M.A. in Writing and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry. Her latest collection, The Perfume of Leaving, has just been awarded the 2016 Blue Light Press Book Award. Her work also appears in River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-first Century (2015), Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee (2013) and Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets (2011). Her third collection, What Comes of Waiting, won the 2013 Blue Light Press Book Award.
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