Paisley is as White as Nonce of Sky

by Laura Carter

Paisley Is as White as Nonce of Sky: Desire Is Whiter

You call unto brotherly with a free
hand or a color		of surety or sack.	When did you
											                       come from
your hand		into She-ness of a virtue?
					                      Which of you
							                                             is talking
from beyond a pale into a greater fastness or a call?
For who is in this longing with         fabulous meritocracy of your hands?
You mean it as you 
go forth from your own heartache				& far from a higher
armor’s cut well—you touch once, you touch back, a tuché mended higher        
                                                                                                       -than you have been. How 
you go is happier than a first thing you knew:
						                                     your nights are certain
& a body is weeping into fire.
You hear in stereo; you hear in stillframes & cum:
								                                     layered up around
								                                     structure, you plant a sun
& take home.

Surely Ridden Has Known Hun

	You saw you from around a corner of yourself		You saw
										                                                  in threes
								                         you were
						in trenches

your face with a century’s desire—an opulent maelstrom of exactitude &  
                                                                                                          crimson—a heart melt-
ing in
a bodily crux
a corpse
over which you stood
as if in a living dream
& swayed along with undulating
						                                                  rhythm of sole’s
last footpath down
		                    into an open temple where you

were sometimes by yourself & sometimes open to niceties of your theology & 
                                                                              cosmological vision of sea & sand—it’s shifting—you’re opening—you’re not quite certain of an answer to this—
				where have you been
							                                      o Methadone
				& Rimbaud
								                                               at heart of a story
You followed along & went there yourself with an army full
of obeisance & glass

as a moral is made of ribbons that one weaves
around center of heartland, body of an America
swept clean				                               by intransigence &
							                                                               happiness of
					                                               your love…

Geometer’s Gymnastics

in strange interpreter					    a stranger in blouse
						                 a hand
color before you have come
					                   to put yourself here		              annealing 
flame in crux of

each sixteenth-note; a star is a crumbling evisceration of
			                           body & tumult; your melancholy plants itself deep in
each field that you encounter:
			                               You take one knife & place it in-
			                               to fire of your heart,
		            plant zinnias
		            at		                      tone’s			           avowed
		           parallax at dusk. But when you leave: you take
these things
guitarist’s hands: a slipstream of rain, a guarded woman, your own heart’s fire.
			You once owned your shoulders but now you own your country….

Laura Carter is a poet and teacher from Atlanta.