Thursday, August 11, 2011

two poems about lazy afternoons.

When I take a bath
on June 6th
the condensation
(such an unpoetic word)
beads on my beer bottle--
deschutes brewery, inversion ipa.
the bathroom mirror fogs.
the overhead light slightly
too bright for my liking,
but candlelight proved too dark to read by,
and reading the atlantic, listening to duke ellington
proved necessary to my satisfaction this evening
after eight solid weeks in the field.
it proved important, also, to my perspective of my legs--
foreign objects!--
as i stretched them out of the water,
knees at eye level,
recently shaved;
even--i thought optimistically--remotely tan-looking
in this artificial light.
my toenails are painted a startling fuscia
to hide the fact that the two big ones
have split in half horizontally from being wet 10 hours a day
paddling down the river.
i can make my knees become small islands,
connect the dots of the freckles on my arms,
pool water in my bellybutton
and push it out with one big breath.
sit up, rest my chin on my shoulder,
and examine myself from a new angle.
threads from my old towel dangle off the curtain rod
and my absent roommates' shampoos and razors
line the edge of the tub.
i lose track of time,
bathing here amongst words and scratchy trumpet sounds,
and i don't know if it will be dark
or light
when i open the bathroom door.

july 21 (2011)
today I came down by the garden at 2:39 p.m.
and hung my hammock in the spreading boughs
of some great tree of unknown species.
I told myself, one hour on this hot afternoon,
one hour of sitting in the hammock, reading and writing
and savoring the light through the summer leaves.
But now it's seven o'clock, and I'm still here.
The air is cooler now, the light diffuse.
Hao came by at four, and I helped him
check the honeybees, and then I did something
that would shock my mother:
I left him to clean up
and I guiltlessly marched back to my hammock,
where I thought very good thoughts
well worth an afternoon's time. 


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