ditch,

the poetry that matters

Simon Rogghe

Simon Rogghe is a poet, fiction writer and translator of French surrealism and contemporary fiction. His work has appeared and is forthcoming in 3:AM Magazine, Tree Killer Ink, Rolling Thunder, Gone Lawn, The Undertow and other publications. He is currently earning his Ph.D. in French literature at UC Berkeley, specializing in poetry.

 

TABLEAU VIVANT (THE OPPOSITE OF STILL LIFE)

 

I.

Naked in the desert.

The dawn, the rocks: red.

Oil paint skin.

Sand as blood.

Eyes of salt.

Smell of stone.

 

Even the snake

Is darker than the shadow.

 

The sun:

Nothing but yellow.

 

II.

My fingertips of wax

Caress you.

Neither one of us can feel.

 

My lips want to possess

A statue.

We lock in an embrace.

 

III.

You breathe,

Breathe into me,

I into you.

 

Eyes tremble,

Melt:

A well.

 

I fall,

Cause ripples,

Drink shivers.

 

Tongues liquid.

Lips spill pearls.

 

IV.

Swallow,

Sink,

Dissolve.

 

Swallow,

Sink,

Dissolve.

 

Smell of heat.

Lakes of cloud.

Kiss of feathers.

 

My tongue finds words

Inside your throat.

I roll them back

Into your mouth:

Let glass flow.

 

Swallow,

Sink,

Evaporate.

 

V.

Sun in your stomach

Pours into mine.

 

Stream of sweat

Rains from your hands,

 

Sinks through my skin,

Pours from my lips,

 

Sinks through your neck,

Pours from your arms,

 

Sinks through my chest,

Pours from my heart,

 

Evaporates,

 

VI.

Coagulates.

 

The desert leaks,

The canvas drips

A note,

Another one,

A third,

A fourth:

A melody

In melted paint

Drips down

Onto the marble floor.

 

On the museum wall

Only a smear remains.

 

We are long gone,

We are long gone.

 

CAROUSEL

 

Grey drips from a cloud

A gentler breeze of paychecks

Leaves sway as an evening shroud

Under a deeper nerve of red

Reeds swirl

                       waves whisper

 

Starburned feathers of a bird that lost its scars

The television plays

Inside the house where girls die quietly

 

The newscast is a cantaloupe

A circle in a tree

A beeswax fairy tale

Consumed by a flamingo

 

Merry the go around

When murderers are on the prowl

Tricksters look through window panes

Until the lights go out

 

Carpets glisten on the edge of an abyss

Lipstick flashes gold

 

The green has crumpled

Dollars sigh

The sky sheds mold

 

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                                                                                                          October 13, 2013