(A Triskedekaliad)

by Marigny Michel

Hot dry breath of the desert drives the devil's own itch
into my skin. To seduce you I argue the moon,
push old names about from map to map, tongue to tongue.

Now you rave an ache for what morphined the wedding years.
Use this number to key open your seething grief:
She is thirteen months gone. Undrape her unslaked mirrors.

Three spoons of dark leaves raise the music of forgetting.
Watch me multiply as I unveil what nine years taught,
a skill of thrills to spin your limbs and make your mouth mine.

Empty your pockets. Change your name. Steal what you believe
will make you invisible. Caught in her cupola
you track hurricanes on charts ruined by old weather,

stain yellowing dusk in a low sky, as the slant of
Angelus bells announces the eye. Crosses taped on
glass shatter. The colors you used for the winds don't match.

Paint out the light. Under this dried and flattened sky,
I will show you the difference between nightshaded yew
and its charcoal that never burned but vitrified in the blaze.

Marigny Michel studied in the Creative Writing program at UCLA as an undergraduate and graduate student. During that time, she won over a dozen poetry, fiction, and essay awards; founded and led a poetry group that performed in Los Angeles venues; and founded and edited two literary journals. Her work has appeared in Goblin Fruit, Louisiana Review, Live Oak Review, Calyx, Chaffey Review, and others.

When asked of what poem the word "cherry" immediately makes her think, Marigny replied as follows: "I fear I will disappoint my wonderfully literate audience by replying that the word cherry makes me think, not of any poem, but of this iconic image. I imagine that this triumph of base visual titillation arises from too many hours misspent memorizing the words to Rolling Stones lyrics while poring over the album covers (yes, album covers, my dear young friends,) all the while deeply imprinting the Jagger-inspired lips-and-tongue logo in my besotted brain. Perhaps a weakness for the porn of Vogue's makeup ads contributed to my downfall, too."

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