By MARIA de ARAÚJO.
poetry is useless when carved into skin —
A quick glance all it can take,
the indulgent caress after the flood.
The water seeps through – curdled blood cooked and eaten.
But the blood is woven tight —
my face a curse.
My skin — my fate.
The great revealer,
giving sight to the blind.
It takes over the mind,
and sleep won’t come.
The heads of grass wave softly in their quietness,
The sheep huddle,
wool coats shedding warmth.
Cicadas scream in rhythmic unison,
their chaos stills the night to a single note.
It’s the night-time lull of the country,
the wild untamed net of people unwilling
to bend to the neon god —
he whispers electric blasphemies
this loud stillness won’t tolerate
The fields are emptied of wool,
the spell of the small lullabies in full trot.
Big mammals and their
heavy, clumsy sleep – subdued by
exoskeletons and cold-blooded skins.
But the cats –
the almighty predators of domestic life,
soundless in their bored whim.
The moon stares their eyes back,
yellow globes of reflecting light — they hold
the land by its strings,
the sea and the little creatures
that limit its coherency.
A colloid mass of refracted sound,
the cats in the beginning
the moon at its close –
the dark holds the rest.
The summer blows your curls
into waves of this spring scent
I dance in your laughing eyes
and see everything as
a moment’s length of happiness follows
the past, and sings of the future.
This lemony sea
is a swing
for you and me.
Our legs alternate to our loving rhythm.
my brain coils around itself,
fangs sunk in my breast,
sucking marrow from carefree thoughts
the strain of holding numbing my grip,
I fall into the dark I close my eyes against,
the joy drips into the drain.
Maria de Araújo lives ‘in Portugal, moving between nature, mental scapes and female mythical representation. Her poetry has been published in independent and feminist magazines, and read in local cultural spaces. She’s currently working on a collection imagining the female voices of the New Testament, and studying modernist fiction at the intersection between literary criticism and philosophy of language.’