Nick Patten © 2008 All Rights Reserved
The Elegant Universe
I watch a heavy woman through the window toss the ends of scarves
over a sagging line to display in front of her shop.
No one will be home for hours.
The bright blues, reds, purples stretch to their lengths
in wind. The hidden key is not in its hiding place.
All I can think of is the pink smell of your shoulder and neck as you curl into me.
Standing outside looking in, the melon on the counter.
I hear horses raging deep under the ground.
Then it begins to rain. A little cosmic love dust.
The woman pulls each garment from the string.
She flings them into a box. The spirit loosed. My fingers become bees.
Piles of color in a heap of crushed rainbow. Bits of skin shavings.
The scent of sugar. Here naked women run in darkness.
Crawl over the window again. I never learned the language of men.
The moon creeps closer in raggy staccato movements.
I swim naked with spawning salmon. In my tone-deaf-love-struck-infantile-
waiting-for-the-world-to-end state. She is not here.
No one will be home for hours. The evergreenís outline consumed by fog.
I canít recall how I got here. The swing holds the memory of a child.
The missing key. I don't want to be alone. My hair wet, arms slick,
I slip off my shoes, run through deep weeds, hoping some part of me
can touch whatís always been gone.
Jeremy Voigt has an MFA from Bennington College. He lives in Bellingham, Washington. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Talking River Review, REED, Pontoon 10, Poet Lore, RHINO, Arabesques Review, and Tiger Tail.
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