Four poems – W. E. Pasquini

W. E. Pasquini

Remove

verb
1. the iridescence of a small crow’s wing, violet and blue
disappearing without light
2. rain sieving through feathered fronds
4. the tight bound bud opening, petal by petal, to the parasitic
wasp

noun
1. a distance of separation; the space between sigh and inspiration
2. psychological detachment; to let the wind ripple through grass,
through bone

synonyms
1. separating humerus from ulna and snapping the bird wing flat
2. the butchery of sound, as when the dark bird’s song calls for
return

see also: to be removed

Fly, Fly Away, Gone

She hears the chain saw, but rising from the sofa seems impossible.
Her glass sits ring-bound on a teak table beside her, her pills beside
the empty glass. Was it morning when she laid down? She pushes
up and into the breeze of the fan and feels ribboned by the
oscillation. Her body seems to flow like filaments away from her,
spiraled, sheared. Then the blades chaw the air again, and through
the window she sees his last slash take a crown of small limbs.
The tree shakes its pollard-boughs against the glistening sky.

Later, she finds tiny calcite shells, glowing little stars in the
flattened plane of grass, dropped from the tree in that breathless
rush of limbs from sky to earth. She picks up the largest piece of
shell, a half-moon crusted with ochre. A rust-like bloom stains her
hand. She looks around for a mother bird, but sees nothing, only a
few twigs clutched into a nest. She calls her husband’s name —

A dry leaf answers as it scrawls itself across the yard.

The Closet of Good Intentions

is where she stores those things that still matter — her aunt’s pie plate with the fluted rim; the flaking baseball glove that her son left in the trunk of her car; and boxes and boxes of dried flowers. On Sundays, she takes each box out and checks its wrappings carefully, re-taping corners that have popped up. Sometimes, she runs her tongue along a piece of pink ribbon or the velvet of a box and thinks, I taste salt. Her dog sits on the top shelf, chuffing softly when she opens the door; her husband glares out from behind a broken mirror that she has not yet allowed herself to throw away. It’s sometimes good to keep all the bad luck locked away, she thinks. Still, it troubles her that she has to push and push on the door to close it.

In the Blue Hour

she remembers the roses that once grew in the still-brown place, how she
forced bone meal into the spaces between to give them spine, pruned the
canes to make them strong, and watered to make deep roots. There had
been enough poison—chlorothalonil, copper, flutriafol, neem—and labels
that read: Not to be taken internally. May cause blindness. Call a
physician if ingested.
Still, she could never conquer the black spot, could
never force the red from green, the green from yellow-turned-black. Even
Will Scarlet bloomed but once, dropped its leaves, and fell to silence.
Now, she stands in the failed bed and names the dark: Diplocarpon rosae.

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