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Issue 18

Poetry » Margaret Clapp »

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Seasons

There are chocolate chip scones
in the kitchen and your name
on my tongue.

I’m taking the things you
love as my compensation,
you can go but I’m keeping my piece.

I still say I love you to
the darkness as if you could hear,
as if the winds will gently pluck
these vibrations from the airspace
and place them near your ear.

I’ve heard summer is the season of love,
but when I look at you I think
of winter and the slow melt
of snow into spring.

I think of you as the warmth
against the wind, the relief
that fills you when you step over
the threshold and into home.

Settle your scarf on the hook
and shed your layers, pulling boots
off and dropping them one by one.

Your skin feels like home
and I want to show you how
the sun looks against your eyes.

I’m taking what you love
and letting it hang, here,
between seasons. Between
goodbyes, I’m holding on to
what you love in hopes
of holding on to you.

Immersion

1.
We go to find fear.

2.
It was a necessary departure from the ground.

Tiny buildups send me looking
for big conquests, because if I
can cross an entire ocean,
I can cross state lines.

3.
I am not just trying to see, but trying to feel.

If I cover my body in the dust
of a foreign landscape, or prick
my fingers with claw-like thorns
of its trees, have I won?

If my arms feel the weight
of leadwood, and these hands
build fire with savannah grass,
then I have felt the heat
of a red African sun.

I have stared into the face
of a lion, and come away
with sight.

4.
I am looking
for vulnerability by sitting
outside of it. If I sleep in the open air
maybe I will be able to thrive
in the open, unknown of expectations.

5.
No one tells you
those pockets of black in the night
are the lion, and to filter the light
sitting down with arms out,
and to sit with the haze until you see.

Homefront

Here I am on your front step,
bare feet and the red dress again.
I’m still taking, but I’m stripping
the layers and throwing them at your
feet because I’m trying to give the only way
I learned how. Here is my vulnerability,
shatter it with the windows.

I’m sitting on the porch now, yelling apologies
through a white picket fence and a windowed
door. I am sorry for the weakness, the timidity,
I’m still learning. Please be patient, maybe
tomorrow we’ll hit a sprint.

the clouds are moving. I wanted you
to know, they’re going without you
catch up, catch up.

we can’t live like this, stealing
everything the other holds dear,
settle your heart in my hands.