On my mother’s patio above the canal
I saw a marriage in the clouds. Not only loose doves,
but small animals feeding each other like Adam’s hand
clasped to the Lord’s in the Sistine sky. I watched
from the terrace. I saw the man-cloud and the woman
up high surrender and touch. An angel buoyed
between them like the reverend who witnesses
the vows. I was witness. I saw the Jerusalem palms
loft into the firmament, creation’s first
foreground. Then an aisle of pageantry down
which the clouds stepped and met,
one towards the other. Male and Female
He made them in the rose carpet of twilight
while, completely oblivious,
the rock ‘n’ roll boats putted by.
Does the light serve as breath? How do the meshed
colors of sky move inside to pump plumes
through my lungs? My vinyasas
on porcelain tile, a small chill tightens
my hands, and I want The Higher Nothingness,
the Nothing in perfect balance with the fans
rasping across from each other. Around me,
the dust of stars I am composed of
resists the air-conditioned space. I open
the Patio doors, I am golden in this blue
moon gloaming like the stars mirrored back
from the canal. I am my atoms’ patterned gleam,
the poinciana’s scarlet orbs, each molecule in that pile
of muscle shells. I am the fallen palm next to
the drying towel. A lizard skitters down the stucco wall,
crosses my plasma-painted toe, thinks it a hot rock
to lie on. But I rise to warrior, gently wobble him
off, small pearl of peace, curled like his tail,
chi in my upturned palm.
He taught himself how to make colors transparent.
Make the roof of the sky and its blue go away.
Birds taught him how to braid words encrypted as nests.
And I learned how to survive in the forest with only
a tarp and plastic utensils. He taught me bad magic,
his tall fingers tendrilled my throat, and I choked out
the very big questions he’d later knot in my hair.
Only the fires could trace him, each like a Siamese sign
or a semaphore, embers astray in translation, smoky
remnant of notes we had sung. And the villagers swore
he could square circles through different dimensions.
Sometimes even now when night sifts through my hair,
I shrink into shadow, feel for him there with my tongue.
Deborah DeNicola’s most recent book is Original Human, was recently published by Word Tech Communications in 2010. She edited the anthology Orpheus & Company; Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology, from The University Press of New England. Previous poetry books include Where Divinity Begins from Alice James Books, and three chapbooks. Her memoir, The Future that Brought Her Here was published by Nicholas-Hays/Ibis Press in 2009 and reached #1 in psychology books on Amazon.com Among other awards Deborah has received a National Endowment Fellowship in poetry. She won The Packingtown Review’s Analytical Essay Award in 2008 and the Carol Bly Short Story Award in 2013. Her web site is: www.intuitivegateways.com.