THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT


Three Poems

by Rachel Landau

Illustration by Claribel Wu

published February 1, 2019


new interior for a

hallmark birthday card

hornet wound i weep your memory

 

accounting for sapphire-stained rungs in the ladder though garnet symbolizes your birth

 

since the bronze age a gemstone for your keeping

 

balanced a palace between the hands of a ghost sensor

made the river borderline and the starlight noxious

 

to the corkboard blank space of my heartthrob:

 

sending love this time of year

and always

 

we looked different then,

but now

the calendar claims a calm july while rain on thayer street is thumbtacks

 

and lightning practices pointe on the avenues to perform a cement ballet

 

i wake to soft

 

silhouettes             in an ivory room your eyes have never seen

 

once airfields merged atoms, your lover, a pair of hands

 

now this is not december i could say to you next to me

 

imaginary; i could turn to freckles

 

i could switch out the rain for snow

 

a cave of dreams for the common cold

 

brunette for blonde this city for yours

 

dream an ark             and pray a polymer

 

notice what is sired in these storm drains, i demand a needless audio

 

i have lived among these endless hills and when i march these streets i recall your boston neighborhood named for its religious acclivity

 

for the time to mold a baby in a fielded womb

 

where trains walk to art museums, ambulances race to a hospital next door

 

i want only to speak to you again

 

and with what reason am i to do a fine job of carrying on in the rain

 

when miles away up the hill you are stumbling

 

delicate cycle

washing little spots between spots

sun spots mostly and spots of of silk

spun by worms littler than spots

washed to preserve an old newsprint

words drone and the heater hums

and spots fade in the laundry machine

washing little spots between spots

 

*

 

washer thumping like sins on breastbone

delicates desire to preserve balance

thumping dress inside to cover shoulders

delicates desire to preserve a sanctity

a body hidden in these

a shell like shallot

a body hidden in these

a questio n of pretending

 

*

 

sweet detergent for a soft soul delicate

in light—

imagine photosensitive paper in a dark laundry room

chemical truth for the unexposed

while soap cleans and makes fictions

and promises set forth by twisting

so spots fade in the laundry machine

 

*

 

pressing on the self to stain

out of view with last year’s favorite hat

straw and sun-damaged

i imagine the moment stepping forth

declaring in little speckled hours

block letters of a verse written to hide itself

 

*

 

i say yes to everything in the dryer

even if steadfast—to press ‘delicates’

it was all to protect

a material i borrowed

to hold in my hands

tiny eggshells worn

when i promised

this could be clean again

little spots between spots