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Elizabeth Mayo Dec 2014
A face full of light.
Strong bare arms and
Hair covered.
You can think still, you
Can keep your heart.
You can have my canned fruit.
Child turned away at the door

But bright tropical morning through
Caged bar doors
And the human heart can make even
The red late night light, your
Only light up through the
Little windows with the bars in it

Caged but
Grey is the color of hope.
Elizabeth Mayo Sep 2014
my heart needs magic,
healing, birdseeds and birdsong.
girl with garden hair.
monet's garden or
galapagos islands.
green swamp, barefoot wild.
heart open to winter,
frostbitten hands and open fields,
yellow butterflies and someone to dance with
i think. i
want to walk barefoot in the grass,
not like monet's garden,
not like a stroll through the flowerbeds
but at home, at peace, with my hands full of song.
Hope. a thing that never stops singing,
i want to spin magic out like thread. I want to walk in the sun,
I want to be soft and pure and free, and only be afraid
of too much rain and holes in the leaves.
i want to feel safe in my bed.
i want to kiss a girl with her hair up
and see someone dance.
but i feel like a plant without roots,
disoriented, cast out, careening free
like stumbling barefoot out the front door
with your body aching and heart in your fist.
and birds don't want my seeds.

i don't want to be a girl, a woman, a person
anymore, i don't want to strive
except in the way a wave pushes out,
or water runs down, i want to be a crane, a bell, a tree
a worm chewing through the leaves
a steady lull of waves, a fish that knows its school
or a bird at the beginning of spring.
as steady as the outpush of spring.
i want to flee at winter.

o! they talk about mangoes,
about trees dripping with mangoes
i want to be sweet
and empty of expectations,
no history.
i want to be eve
and only think of love and naming trees.
Elizabeth Mayo Sep 2014
My heart's yearning, singing, flinging itself
our there to people with joy I

listened to the school nurse talk about
eating a mango with her bare hands

over the kitchen sink, red and ripe,
juice running down her arms

and I was so happy, I want to live where
ripe mangoes drip off trees.

where a mother wraps me up in her arms.
where it's too balmy to be afraid,

where I don't have to stand up straight,
back straight, don't have to live showing my fists

to show my back isn't bent, my heart is still beating,
my soul isn't dimmed or scuffed.

I want to write poetry that makes the
world sing and stories that give girls wings.

I want to be a child, unconcerned and wild,
wings at the heels of my feet, but
I want to help my sisters sing.
Elizabeth Mayo Jul 2013
The girl I love is sitting in her mother's garden,
clusters of rain-heavy blossoms dripping from her hair,
the golden curls at the nape of her neck gleaming,
the sunlight catching in her hair.

O, I am drunk on the richness of the sun
and the flowers and light, and on
glancing-eyed Proserpina, reading Lorca,
listening to the hydrangeas sing.

The girl I love, her body is a greenhouse,
lush and lovely, rainlily-white--
O, my goddess, glancing-eyed goddess of spring!
Elizabeth Mayo Jun 2013
Should the breadth of silence stretch,
Maria, sweet girl of the boughs of flowering
pear and tangerine trees, your stocking-foot
brown like the branch of a sapling tree,
and should the dark profundity of the earth
begin to part (among the hymns and litanies
of things I cannot comprehend
is how Orpheus sang down the earth to part
beneath his feet) then the rich black soil of spring
is where I plant the Could-flowering seeds
of all that I am not brave enough to be.

(chérie, avournine, Eurydice;
you will forgive the
thousand words I do not speak
when you know that language is
but the honeysuckle beneath your feet.)
Elizabeth Mayo May 2013
The cicadas are singing hymns, my dear,
the wind is lifting your hair like a wing
of some bright-flowing canary
and the juniper, bluebells, the ivy and moss,
ma fifille, ma mie, ma minette, ma poupée,
fleur éternelle de printemps, ma mie, ma mie,
in their first sweet spasms of spring
can hardly compare to fluttering fall
of your slip as it ghosts past my knee.
Elizabeth Mayo May 2013
Sister, you are more dear to me than all the lilies of the field,
more quiet and wilder-sweet
than the last honeysuckle breaths of spring,
and the fall of your hair as you lift your face
is enough to convince me that I am safe.

Fiorentina, when the heavy rains stop and the earth begins
to flower and perfume herself
with the rich heaviness of soil
like a young girl at her mother's boudoir,
I'll be here if you want me to
teach you there's brightness waiting for you,
and part the hedge of roses with my lyre
and show you more than one way to fly out in the night:
I will charm down the worst horrors of our world and the next
if that will keep you safe.
subtitle spun from Nabokov
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