Just as one has spoken numbers,
I shall do, but taste the ways:
The sour grit of medicine
I took on my sick tongue. The silt
of nighttime on my palms, of copper
on my underlips. The sweat of wolves
as you played with the full span
of shoulders, of outstretched arms and fingers.
That lover’s bay that you had never
loosed on any prey.
The honey of the light that flowed out on
the folds of you €”un-tucked, untied, unshod €”
when I wished to taste the shadow of your
throat and thigh. A prelude, when I knelt gripped
in your thunder, and tendons strained
and life welled up, bought freely with
my pain and yours.
The meal of our healed bones €”
we snapped each other up. We drank, prized
by tongues that knew to savor what we found
in marrows of each other. That vision of bamboo,
when shadows switched your form. There we were
in Ahman, the pucker of bitterest almonds on our lips.
You tasted me. You wore the tinge of ash,
the musk of fire. O, my throat aches
hollow with desire.
Sarah Dunster is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. Her poems have been published in Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, Segullah Magazine, and Victorian Violet Press. Her short fiction piece, Back North, is featured in Segullah’s Fall 2011 issue. She has published a novel, Lightning Tree, through Cedar Fort. Sarah has seven children and loves writing almost as much as she loves being a mom. Link here to Sarah’s other contributions to WIZ, including an excerpt of her novel.
For the second year, we’re making February €œLove of Nature, Nature of Love € month on Wilderness Interface Zone. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, all month long we’ll publish poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), video or other media that address the subject of love while making references to nature. Or it could go the other way around: We’ll publish work about nature that also happens to give a nod to love. That presents a wide field of possibilities. We’re seeking submissions of original work or you can also send favorite works by others that have entered public domain. So if you have a sonnet you’ve written to someone dear to your heart–even and perhaps especially your dog–please consider sending it to WIZ. See the submissions page in the navigation bar above.
Also, February 24th is WIZ’s birthday. We’ll be two years old €”a toddler now. To celebrate, a couple of posts will offer presents to our readers. Because without you, dear readers, where would we be?
There’s more than a slight hint of thaw in earth and air. The light is growing longer. The first waves of the Canadian geese migration are rolling through the southern Utah county where I live. Hen-and-chicks and stork’s bill are beginning to preen. The coyotes are pairing off. February is a good month to warm things up. Got love? Celebrate it here on WIZ.
Weisst du, ich will mich schleichen
leise aus lautem Kreis,
wenn ich erst die bleichen
Sterne Ã¼ber den Eichen
Wege will ich erkiesen,
die selten wer betritt
in blassen Abendwiesen –
und keinen Traum, als diesen:
Du gehst mit.
Understand, I’ll slip quietly
away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale
stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.
I’ll pursue solitary pathways
through the pale twilit meadows,
with only this one dream:
You come too.
(From Advent. Translator unknown)
Catch a white mare and bridle her
With an ivy bridle; braid her mane
With marigolds; go in the slender
Light with her to the water tender
Where the fish rise and count the flames.
Free the mare; if she trumpets like a swan,
Say your beloved’s name and pray till dawn.
Mask your body with horsemint; turn
Away from the sun; do not go toward
It all day; do not wash or burn.
Fiddlehead of the hart’s tongue fern €”
Seethe it in milk; eat it from a gourd.
If you meet him keep your body mute.
Pick no flower dove and eat no fruit.