Man Ray’s eccentric odalisque;
His peculiar muse
Swathed in bizarre jungles,
Haunted by a ferocious mind that provoked and teased
The covetous avant-garde
Like a child that plays with a toy
Until it falls apart.
And when she found its foolish heart,
With her enigmatic intellect
She would crush it.
Her pale eyes, bright and angry
With a bitter light,
Were rimmed with black
Like a mourning card.
Her hands were coiled like animals:
Feral muscles that roamed
Like villages and townships.
And from wrist to elbow ivory bangles
Were poached along the country
Of her wild and untamed arms.
A width of sleeping cloth
To use against the velvet enticements
Of the insolent cold.
And I began to feel the living embroideries
Begin to effervesce,
To crawl and whisper across my skin.
The vines coiled into my hair
With green familiarity,
The quilt hummed with birds, animals
And the palpitation of feathers and flesh:
Warming me with their circulation
And thread counts.
Twisted around filaments and fiber
And swarmed into the hem:
The restless margin
Of verbose and lively stitching.
A Nautical Sleep
Over oceans and tangled ships
Beyond the rocks’ ragged geometry
Above glistening and brackish shores
As it sought respite from its salty excursions
Choices drifted beneath it:
But it ignored the breakwater –
The geometric puzzle of stones fixed
Into the rough-hewn mathematics
Of strenuous and comfortless landscapes
It avoided the parched sand:
The unstable, shifting deserts
Made of silica and pulverized shell;
The insidious, hellish powder
That vexed and disrupted particular feathers
It scorned the astringent winds
Sharp with the caustic alchemy
Of uprooted kelp, salt and fish:
The selfish, oblivious forces
That cared not to buoy its exhausted, sinking flight
It found a bed of water:
A gentle and seaworthy nest
Of turquoise rhythms and green lullabies
That sang of the chartless dreams it sought:
The stories of pearls, grottoes and gentle mermaids.
Melinda Giordano is from Los Angeles, California. Her pieces have appeared in Scheherazade’s Bequest and Vine Leaves Literary Journal among others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Melinda writes flash fiction and poetry that speculates on the possibility of remarkable things – the secret lives of the natural world.