Two Poems

Late September

and so still much to do—
the bending over the bowl
of dough, the mending
of socks worn through the toe,
the paring of peaches, lovely
in their waning.

Statice beyond the glass, lusterless,
like fog against a window, fading
purple blossoms dry
as paper. Dusk is brittle
on my shoulders. I will leave
as I came in, already falling.


The Acrobatics of Desire

What’s going on?
I only signed up for the introductory course,
the ten free ballroom dancing lessons,
now I’ve gone and floated out the window. 

The air is cool, wet, hot. Above me,
in the sea-dark sky, sun and moon embrace.
“Hey, wait for me,” I cry, as I struggle to get a grip
on air, “Wait until my shoes are blue

and I can climb the ivy dangling from your hair.”
From the vacuum overhead, quiet
as the blackberries of Mars, soft emerald eyes
emerge and stroke me with their lashes.

Now the air begins to swing. Where’s the steering
on this thing? Migod, I’ve gone and hit the wires.
As broken music falls around, I grab the notes
out of the air, string them round my neck.

When I take my bow, the shattered stars
gleam and twinkle in the spotlights.  Far below,
the crowd applauds, but I’m not afraid of them.
I have the power of the lost wax wings.

—Ruth Bavetta, San Clemente, CA