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JodiAnn Stevenson

June 2009

darker love poems

A Prayer to My Son

Grant me your small wet lips and hands
that dive beneath my ribs to find whatever’s
hiding there.  Grant me the tongue that cannot
rest when the mind is lighting on something
new.  Grant me the newness you know
for grass, for kites, for television and cement
floors where you’ll sprawl against misplaced
nails and you won’t care about dirt or blood.

Grant me the blood that will one day grow
distant and singular.  Grant me your arms
and legs which will one day not wrap around me
as we descend the staircase each morning,
groggy and warm.  Grant me the heat of your half-
sleeping body reposing against my chest,
the sweat from your hair line as the curls
turn up from your ears.  Grant me

the heart that flutters in your quiet chest,
a simple curious tail of a brook trout
that flips and flips and, thank God, flips.

After the baby comes

trip the trap
of my mindand awaken
to find me

when I look
in that mirror
I will have
like a vampire

and you will
no longer know
me or the way
my body bends
around yours

in a maniacal
plea for your

because everything
will be different

there won’t be
a cell in my body
that does not register
the change

Copperwool Anniversary

Because I have used them thin,
I am giving you these things:

 The wish of a carelessly hopeful idiot
on a dying, foreign star,
The walk from the curb to the door, lined
with forgiven cruelties,
The shadow the dog believes
is another, darker him,
The green from the hedge, trimmed by the gardener
whose sweet wife howls in the act,
The light left on in the bathroom,
a leftover childhood need,
The rub of my big toe
against my little toe,
The good intentions of TO DO lists,
growing yellow and brittle in the study,
The affection of a stupid heart,
sentimental even in its beating

"What's all this?" You ask.

Our bones, Our bones,
My love,
Our bones.

JodiAnn Stevenson's work has appeared in numerous print and online journals including, most recently, The Hiss Quarterly, The Strangefruit, and PoemMemoirStory.  Her first chapbook, The Procedure, was published by March Street Press in 2006.  She is a founding editor of Binge Press and 27 rue de fleures.  Some of her visual poetry lives at www.bowlofmilk.com

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