Grocery Store Phantasy
My salmon steak heart, alive, swaddled in plastic,
beats slow and soft to the touch,
bubblegum pink methylmercury lust.
You rainbow trout, with a pearl in your mouth,
could I have caught you diving for oysters?
Stirring up sediments when the stores are all closed.
I dream of crabs in cages (underwater),
I dream of magpies who speak (understood),
I dream of murky aquariums and trap buildings and gums losing teeth,
I dream of digging in palms for nails, jagged calcium and splinters,
I dream of coonskin caps bouncing through dark and Virgilless woods,
I dream of a metal trigger skinwarm.
I dream, frogpoised, ready to be spat back out into lukewarm water,
I dream of cedarhazel eyes and Pan curls and
kissing Marc Anthony’s feet, just to dissolve his pearls in vinegar.
I hung them around sleeping slaves, for fear of lost luster.
I cast before swine, I was choking on a troubled mind-
I had covered my small face with sludge plaster.
Swim up, blindbye sun, gulp air, cry anathema.
Cense my simple five senses, resurface.
Wrap me in sky, pink my blue lips,
candle-warm my extremities,
a myrrh bearing woman once more.
I rip the hook out of my lip until
I bloodlet, leachshiver, decopper.
Hang the black cassock in a carpeted closet,
alone in a house with nothing but shoeprints,
and toss the keys out the window to the realtors.
In a wardrobe of refrigerant,
in your willful oyster curls,
in reedmetal baskets that mark up my calves
between fruits, tinned fishes, and loaves,
swinging suspended, a weightless kelp dream,
with Hermes winged ankles and overhead heels.
Last Summer Bozzuto Construction Fed a Drainage Pipe Through my Local Park
A boot in the small of my back running
water one pipe to another flooding
buildings full of quiet splashes held together by tiles
in a brick layers’ purse of lined canvas duck pants
all white overalls to cover up a spook’s
cleft chin and his spade heart jack of clubs
full of members who turn and face and look
And listen with their shoulders
he kissed mine in last night’s dream
bare skin is not shy when it doesn’t matter
when it’s not a matter of shy skin
cold water white rocks no turn un
stoned if there’s a young girl laughing don’t
interrupt her phone
A busy mind a catlike dial
purr into microphones sell your time
tuck our feet under our chest losing
symmetry cutting checks
cutting blankets new sheets
unwashed from commerce
if you find a little spoon
you’ll never polish her silvers
Pack a lip and leave it
until your fruit is ripe for peeling
dogeared lips pass teeth the mic:
reporting wine snuff and Darjeeling-
like Russian thistle Russian poems
are two metered and too metered
Trees full of Quincy head full of orchard don’t slip
on tripped fruit knocked down
like blood off a tooth
like hair off a head in fast motion autumn
don’t spy on her summer or she
won’t crown you winner the snow only wets
through my boots when I’m with you
polish my leather in basket
weather woven hay of the times
carefully braided and unsevered
My socks are all borrowed all soaked
in a stirrup scoot down get too close
office doctors rip papers it’s no hospital cotton
no vetiver just glycerin
no frankincense no cinnamon
just single use cupped gelatin
You may as well have ripped paper off your bed when I left
It was raspberry high summer and you said: Next
— Anna Krivolapova writes and translates poetry and short stories, and has an upcoming novel up the sleeve of her tracksuit.