Sunday Poem

(intuition, black rose)

the city lay pressed together, steaming at the joints
the city, a rosebud composed of metal,
pressed together, steaming at joints,
it wheels its rose-head, sucks in a cold night, thick night
sucks in night like ink through a straw

my city is a rose-bud all cold metal
some nights i walked circles through her folds
shadows flapped and tore, broke loose like a storm
a dream made of black lace smothered my mouth
with the scent a man would chase through sheets

(which man? mine!)

a dream made of black lace come scratching my throat
i walk toward the man who loves with ice
lungs aching with a scent he’d chase through sheets
my heart, it twists like rope

but i walk toward the man who loves like ice
my sweetheart crush my bones at the steaming corner
but my heart, she twists quietly.
pressed to my ribs this man (my man!)
pressed to my ribs, ice, ice.
the dream clogs my throat with her careful lace
and my lips go off burning with his lips

the whole city wheels its head off

off comes the rose from its stalk of brute wanting.
see what you’ve done, i thought, when my city
loosed and split, folds cracked with ice
and streets fell away with buildings and night.

(we stood froze like a root, but twisting)

by Mara Jebsen
from Union Station Magazine
February 2010