Laura Mayron

HERMETICS OF MASS GRAVES

Romance is telling you how my favorite poet was assassinated.
Had anyone asked me ten years ago,
I wouldn’t have said that love would be you,
a shower in early summer (May, teetering
on the edge of ochre heat),
the bathroom too purple with steam
to fully see the paleness of your shadow
between the curtains.

Didn’t you know they lined him up there,
in Granada in August?
Didn’t you know, I ask the rippling
scythe of your hair down your back
—gasp of copper—
that they’ve never found him?
In waters of re-becoming,
I tell you how I wish I could divine
in ink pools like he did: unknown
last words in the dregs,
foretelling the three he would die with,
lashed to the moon.

Together, scrying in fogged-up mirror,
we conjure liquid slip back to heady rot of August.
A chaos of brackish sunflowers,
the gulf-mouth sadness where insects
feed down to his bone marrow.
Take him away, if for a moment
(his eyes like mercury).
Show him what love will be:
dawn-loveliness enshrouding midnight,
two women together,
I—perched on lip—
the poet’s poppies weeping on my thigh,
her, half-Venus in the way she moves light.
Almost-alchemy, suspended,
all ephemera.

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