Red oaks
Old and high and dim-leafed
Their branches saw in this cold wind
Blasting off the waterlands
I am your acorn
Plant me rosy from pleasuring myself in dreams
And I’ll overflow with silty past

Come to me in my garden of flooded statuary
The mud of the delta sticks to the thighs
Of a white marble nymph
A sleeping cat in agate
Is all but buried in debris
One pointed ear
One veined temple exposed above the muck

There is a statute in the law book of my mistress:
“Taste all efflusions”
Another: “Go forth until the daub on your tongue proves salty”
In dream I go cold and absent
At the spot of blood on a white sweater
Wouldn’t it taste of salt?
If only I could lift it from the cotton
And taste

I read you
I am an adept at reading you
Truth is latent in me
Waiting for the Flood Moon
Like the sea sloshing the Durdle Dor
I feel the days pick pick pick
At my chalky ribs

The cure:
Each day
Going forth
To find salt
On a freshwater delta

Marlene Tholl, © (p) 2007 Marlene Tholl (BMI). All rights reserved.