From Issue 7
and Other Poems by Patricia Pruitt
Say wind. Say wide. A wide wind blows
over the ocean. A wide wind means someone no harm.
All the winds there are blow far and wide.
This time of year hurricane winds--
José coming up over French Martinique.
The Sirocco of Morocco.
The Simoon in spring and summer.
Hot whirlwinds out of the Sahara and Arabia.
The Mistral cold and dry from the northwest
across the Mediterranean all the way to the Rhône.
Whence it cometh.
Rise in empty space of sand.
Be an orphic wind
For John Ashbery
Blame it on a metal-roller micro pen,
on your tournesol sestina en double—indubitablement
you suffer fools with grace and lights going out
often and too soon
The ice cream is too frozen to serve, we must wait
for Spring again despite all we know
who’ve been around the block a time or two.
“Be back in apple blossom time,” you say.
Olarra Ohara Ojalá
All’s unknown and in a yellow
restaurant you exclaim,
“Where the fuck’s my duck!”
and later a hedge of sunflowers
grows up in the old rose garden
What more lies behind it, the strung
syllables like Christmas baubles
hanging from the tree, the light
touch is suspect hiding what
at first seems commonplace.
Why then can’t we find it anywhere
but here? Inside her head the voice
screams “no” & rolls up the windows
against a shower.
Woke up to fog over
the river and cat cries
for breakfast, the scrub
brush on the window sill
and you mumbling “coffee?”
in my ear.
New buds on the half-dead
one bloom showing what the others
might have been
Sunlight floods this room, then shade--
Pedestrians have red wings
walk under red awnings
in undisciplined red armies
What is said & what we hear
are events in separate universes
or even dreams.
Nothing is intended to be the way it is--
Is that a question or statement?
Decisions Like Hers
She planted her head
where the cineraria had
dried to death. Her hat
laid on the shelf above her
recently planted self.
All day she spent in the sun
bingeing on light, by nightfall
she yearned for a quick
game of racket ball.
Decisions like hers are not apt
to reverse. The roots go down
too deep in her sleep. The bow
and arrow she keeps in the leaves
but yarrow stalk she takes
regularly out for a walk.
- Patricia Pruitt