Transparent Words - Poetry

Terrie Leigh Relf


The woman looks out the window at the falling rain
            --after Gary Blankenship #25 Youth


I can't sleep what with waves thrashing against rock
the plaintive scuttle of crabs desperate for a safe haven
from seagulls swooping

Like memory, their lives are dashed against the
barnacle-encrusted pier, shell torn away, soft meat
pried loose, gobbled


These rain-slickened streets no longer smell of dirt
and tar, as a neighbor has lit a fire
tossed something sweet into the flames
pine, perhaps
or cedar, sage

He is sitting on a couch by the fire
his arms around a woman
she learning against him
sipping cognac
or wine

I open the window further
try not to listen to their laughter
the sound of breath and flesh

focus on the night
I tell myself
focus on the night
and the rain
the scent of jasmine



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