Poems by Paula Grenside
Sit here, opposite me.
I'll look at the slope
of your shoulder, imagine
I am the shirt that makes
you sweat in the cold.
Let me watch an underworld
moon stand stuck above your head.
A moon with an out of tune
violin and a silverplated gun.
She undresses, takes a blue scarf
to cover her eyes, to press sun
on skin. She unfastens
nakedness among peach trees. Unbuckled
leather sandals show the form
of feet, grass blades on toes' imprints.
On a branch, her dress streams white.
Light flutters as if applauding when
the river opens, closes, coiling, coiling.
You know, dreams do not exist, he told her.
Yes, I do, now that I see the bed, a savage
beast that strops its teeth on sleep
as nails carve names on sheets—
You know, death does not exist—he added.
Yes, I do, now that I am dead. My gowns are
in the drawers; I only miss the scent of the late
rose you pin on the lace at night, she murmured.
You know, love does... —He paused and stared
at the sky's hem slipping off the window.