Chris Roberts Antieau © 2008 All Rights Reserved
I have built my love a skating rink, my first daughter, the one I let go.
She returns for the summer, she and the colors.
When I look at that small circle shaded by the old tree
and see the summer smile through her as she plays,
I can feel like I love her enough maybe. She will never know
that only love could let her go. I donít understand that either.
Fall again. She is far from me.
The kitchen light seems unsure of itself in the dusk.
The rink occupies my late garden, a barren white disk like the moon.
This moon and the old tree are my only company,
and so I tell them how my love shames me,
just a summer mother, and I havenít the heart to eat.
In the mirror I saw an orchid
spectacularly dressed. To live the life
of a flower arrangementóred wings, fronds,
brilliant selves weeping in the throat of a talented vase.
Ixia, make me the center with whiskers or a crown,
a gray bloom or dwarf lip as heliographic tendrils twine.
Protect me with a window, my albus and candidas,
cups within cups, manifold as promises.
Give me whole branches bearing fruit.
Ixia, why is it so beautiful? Divide me from the wild root.
Make me a feast, vain and short, and let me bow
to the days and nights offering my memory.
Mary Wangís (a.k.a. Xu Smith's) poems have appeared in New American Writing, Eleven Eleven, Puerto Del Sol, Electronic Poetry Review, Parthenon West Review, Shampoo, Columbia Journal, Mantis, Court Green and Eucalyptus. She co-edited the online journal Electronic Poetry Review (epoetry.org). She received her MFA from the University of Iowa, and lives in Oakland, CA.
Table of Contents Next Poem Guidelines