The Way I Learned To Write

By Kate Gale

There were words I had to leave behind,
moonlight, backward ponies.
Leaving flowers out seemed safest.
Trying for something surreal,
A trouble free rise of smoke and lavender.
 
No not lavender. Any shade
of purple is best left alone.
Perhaps a jaundiced smoke
rising in my poetry
would be best, although I like violet haze.
 
while other folks are
eating bagels, lox,
cinnamon rolls,
I rummage through old cider houses,
 
find words like obdurate,
bipolar, manic, cold heeled.
But writing about love, well,
not even searches to junkyards
as far away as Peking
 
turn up the slightest unused vowel.
So, I make words up, create my own language.
You Chinese me in the roofy mornings.
You Japanese my legs in the spidery evenings.
Our children are the leggy offspring
 
of centipede afternoons. Our bedroom
is the Acropolis. You temple me backward.
I could bless you all the way to shadowland.
If we were not already steepled there,
our undergarments ruffianed off onto chairs.
 
You catapulted silence,
dogkissed, catlicked my paws
held my squeaks and rattles.
Where the rest had said, What’s this?
You said, it’s mine.

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