Poems by
Amy Trussell

Blade apples

Aggie was like a mangrove tree
                           Legged into the reflecting pool
All black eyes and non cooperative tresses
      "The old man will reveal himself to you soon"
                     curing bat wing     nailed upon the door
looked into her windows
gypsy moth alighting
                          hot paste of poke root
will help you turn the corner
                pods of black medic     hang from the rafters
                                    grimalkin died last February
shakes the brass candlestick
                               while I am in there bathing   never getting clean
Oya with her blasting gelatin
                anger coming back at me     little urchins in the yard
Setting traps with cords and blade apples
                          If you dig any closer to the grave
You'll be neutralized
hopefully the flesh has been entirely consumed
      and there's a nice neat skeleton in there
If you bury near water, you bury deep
                     Rusty knives of the landlord come up in the flood
Why do the hawks sound so lonely today?
There are three of them, they should keep each other company
Its because the leaves die in the bowery
                Alongside the green thumb that fed them
with fish blood and meal
card of several pentagrams in the umbra's cape
Shade Lady come out with me tonight
           forked mother tongue
                     embrace me each way
"I'm healthy except for this" he said
                               The last time they saw him

The Demeter Cults

Aquanauts sleep in the cradle

                          with maroon slipped bowls

carried down the staircase of dripping spirals

Ros in the viaduct

                          a waxwing statue strains toward the sun

saxophone swells the wind tunnel

                            lovers swan neck below a ridge

deep in morning glory runners

                     tent caterpillars mask the old tree house

the membrane tears: "moment of disassemblage'

                       lake water in a dream     through pulverized glass

seven cataracts spilling over

                          bulbs light up the underground in winter

Her leaves are hands       striking gold veins

Ana strophes hanging in a mixed oak forest

           a squad of wild boars cut a swath through the corn

She plows the innards into the soil

                     seed syllables scatter in golden sun

Demeter's daughters dance cuss and scoff

Time Was

Time was, love was like orgenesis.
Mountain building by folding and faulting
Armor was born to protect the thighs
It was called cuisse
And a witch was brought to his or her knees
By certain yellow weeds.

We started out just observing,
Each a descendant carrying a flint
Hard fine grained quartz
Capable of bringing forth sparks.
We lined our paths with deviled eggs
The moon blotted up the stars.

The follicle exploding in the pasture
Is milkweed, a single chambered fruit
Splitting down one seam
Candle feet could not measure this lightness.
We travel by knots though we are not at sea

Egrets swing low and Egyptian
I remove the linen
That covers your chest.
You recline in queen anne's lace or hemlock
Our brains are lit by zymurgy,
zinfandel vines, aggressing mustard.

The sign in the market says
"Flemish beauty pears-
yielding flesh, melts on the tongue"
Tear at the fabric of my being-
I have a kind of cast that needs to come off.

Hexagram 47

Wild grapevines descend
down seven stories
bats will circle soon
swooping for the pulp of dusk

Earlier in summer, hoping for a swarm of bees
we searched with binoculars
but there were no oozing stop signs
not even a wax comb

In a turban shaped nest
now the yellow jackets are dying
their tornado house halted
before a lightning rod

The luminous charge was splitting
into two waves-
double refraction in Father's eyes
he gathered and bent light through

Like a thin walled fruit
death wanted to seep open
the doctors in their goggles
reached across a white field

Monkshood couldn't help him
"dustless, unconquerable" aconite
his cells strobed with turbulence
our tears spilled on his gown

It you eat the fruiting body
of a reishi or eat a lotus root
at last it does not matter-
close your eyes and throw a horseshoe

What matters more is a topaz shot
thrown down to a spit of mud
and coyotes that broke with yipping
through our barrier of time

Copyright © 1998 by Amy Trussell

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