REGARDING THE OLD MAN’S REPLY TO MY LETTER
he can’t read my writing
what do you mean
you write pottery?
okay so I do
make clay from mud
and I spin it
and fondle it into shape
and then bake it
so it all holds together
but people read it
they don’t drink out of it
a taste in the mouth?
but not unwarranted either
He waited – dogs can do that –
patiently waited for me to weary of women
who unclasp their bras,
slip their skirts down over their knees,
who won’t keep their nakedness to themselves
but slap it all over my body.
He was still there when sweat hardened on skin,
moans reverted to sighs which mutated into yawns,
exhaustion owned up to indifference
and sheet and pillow took the human form,
He watched her leave as he had others before her,
every loose item of clothing gathered up
and reunited with her body.
He might have even waited
for the sound of her car
starting up in the driveway
though I wouldn’t swear to that.
No passion, no desire, was required
for him to come to me.
I spoke his name and he knew it.
Some nights, that was a first for me.
NEW ISLANDS EMERGE
Won’t bright rods of seaweed
stanch and shutter our footsteps –
must we drown first?
in the name of the embodied,
the sea assumes to leave us circulating,
like shared lungs, emerging as beloved,
gathering at the sun’s breast
on a surface wider than noon –
such bright insinuations our years have taught –
two jutting islands
where life leads us involuntary –
turquoise latitude, level with each other’s eyes
In this unexpected life,
the strongest rock, the softest green.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Rockhurst Review and Spindrift with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Sanskrit and Louisiana Literature.