# 19

By Anselm Parlatore

There are necessary poisons and there are very
subtle ones made up of ingredients of the soul,
herbs gathered in the corners of ruined dreams,
black poppies found near tombs…
Fernando Pessoa  “The Book of Disquiet”




Severed claws of celestial scorpions

the night sky, stars confounded

by our grief, dark bands extending

far into space mingled with dust motes

clefts in the channels, arrangements

of solitude, oddly all the small interiors

your shoes neatly lined up in the closet

a neurasthenia of emptiness, a long

& slow somber disquiet in the quietude.




& then your huge sunflowers

all along the garden’s fence

their soft radial & yellow petals

astonished, shocked by the center

black, blank, perfectly round, staring

past your rose trellis

a framed embroidery

the sub-angström crystallography

of all the twisting hydrocarbons

& polymer networks tunneling through

the dreams, their warped shear forces

leaving faint pink imprints

of elastic & straps on your skin

as you slowly remove my tie

Saturn sliding across this night sky

a grain moon, a green corn moon

the curving body of a scorpion.



Anselm Parlatore studied creative writing @ Cornell & Dartmouth & edited Granite & Bluefish magazines. He has taught in “Poetry in the Schools Program” in NH & in NY. He has published over a dozen volumes of poetry & has published work in many magazines. He lives in Washington.

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