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Chris Saitta Apr 2023
Love is a thousand women who fail to amount to one,
Peasant seductress with bared shoulders of red dun-colored roads and candle smoke,
Who pours down her wet, ungoverned hair, like a fast-fading storm to dry over Aurelian walls,
In that dark sneer of sultriness over the sentry-like stillness of ramparts and stone,
A wasp in water whose sibilance comes from what the sting makes,
Like the upgathered phalanx of spears in the sand,
Or the sisters of fate who have coiled their hair as sunset snakes,
Her fingertips ***** into me like much-traveled and ancient rain.
Chris Saitta Apr 2023
Morning was sudden-made as an onwardness of hills,
Meant for donning crusade in chainmail glistenings,
The sun visored in misty slats of cold steel,
To glimmer fusty through the godded grove,
A holy sepulchre, earthly-dim to its rafters of oak,
Where the forest-fall of sunlight shed its rosework,
And a red-breasted bird, its song-flight of dappled gleam,
And in the meadow, where colorful whorled the tale of Saladin,
Wayside flowers shook beneath the destriers' cloth caparisons,
A sunny fullness of vales for the crusaders' forest-heartened lungs,
And when this furthering of sights was sunken from,
Still an onwardness of hills to Jaffa like steppingstones.
The Battle of Jaffa in 1192 effectively ended the Third Crusade when Richard the Lionheart’s forces defeated Saladin’s army after routing them at Arsuf, though they failed to recapture Jerusalem.
Chris Saitta Apr 2023
Sings a small boy whose hair is tousled by the wind,
As too the folds of his mother’s peplos and the robes of clouds,
When Greece gathers in silence like the stillness for a deposed crown,
And all Athens around, the song of eiresione for firstfruits of Autumn,
Singing boys with the olive branches of colored wool and garlanded gourds,
A fall-bird to wander the Ionic sky, foretelling of new sunrise.
How that joyful ancient voice still haunts the songbird of sunset.
Eiresione was an Ancient Greek song associated with a fall festival that some maintain was a precursor to Christmas.  Boys traditionally carried olive branches with colored wool and sometimes hung with jars of honey, fruits, and gourds.  They were then left by boys on individual doors as a token of good will and prosperity.
Chris Saitta Apr 2023
I never learned to weep
But ground my eyes down
On the griststone of a mill
Turned sadness into powder
Then choked on my own weaponized sorrow.
Chris Saitta Mar 2023
In our love for the wind and all that passes,
Each smote of self, a wisp of loss and absence,
Like the snow pendulous slips over last grasses,
In the glow of the lamppost and unholding fences:
So too the thousand-grains of breath
Blow through our bodies’ incandescence,
And in the starlit-smoke from the dragon's mouth
On wings of filth swirl the bone-edge of death.
Chris Saitta Jan 2023
She kisses like the reading of an ancient poem
With lips clouded by their own sighs,
So too with all her mock moons, paraselenae,
Obnubilations over her luminous mind,
Her last desperate pulchritude of night,
Chaste labors of assembling unspoiled dew:
Just crumbs of breath at the Greek feast of wind,
New sun pouring in to the clay flowers of our lungs.
“Obnubilation” means to cover with clouds
“Paraselene” is a mock moon like a sun dog
Chris Saitta Oct 2022
A knife cuts clean the jugular of Greece,
Sun-shattered Autumn spurts in breezes,
Her face falls like crumpled sails of the trireme
~This is the sound of sinking clouds, mammatus~
The slow tottering head sinks into itself,
The arm of once-command lies lengthwise
Next to the sea, as waves erase all her form,
And the drear and maddened moon in its cage of stars.
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