Two Poems | Richard Sitoski
Crickets in a field going silent as something large approaches.
Blood the exact colour of a ‘62 Gibson SG.
The slick on the stems of water lilies, the feeling of it on the hands when one pulls them up.
The odour of tuna casserole spooned onto Melmac plates 40 years ago.
Cottage appliance brown.
The texture of the yarn in a favourite cable knit, the one with the hole in the left sleeve near the cuff to puts one’s thumb through.
Soot from burnt love letters.
The thunk of a sparrow bouncing off the hood of a moving car.
The heat in the face of a girl in grade 4 correcting the teacher, telling him that light bulb filaments are made of tungsten and not aluminum, and he takes it badly.
The sounds one makes before one learns to read without moving one’s lips.
Watching in horror the aftermath of mating mantises.
What happens to a gym bag when left in a sunny corner for a week.
These and everything else are what I build my lovers from, carefully, on my sewing table, suturing all in place with a lock stitch so that nothing comes undone. I let them go to stump about on untried feet, to take their chances with the night. I give them freedom to thrive and scream and shrivel and win lotteries. To get lost in the tundra or the subway. It’s not my fault if they don't stay indoors on stormy nights. It’s not my fault if they haven’t the sense to keep away from flames.
I don't listen to the wind It tells me what I've always known of love It strips the trees of leafy dignity leaving them naked not nude the way my heart wants to be
Your love makes the night shut up and stare at its shoes the moon pay its tab and head for the door the stars brawl on the sidewalk but I'm pulling pints in a yeasty apron collecting tips from philanderers on business and anyway where would I take you another bar?
In which I am a cat puzzled at love swimming beneath a layer of ice In which love doesn't know it's a hole in the sky away from claws and teeth
I will maunder in my dotage the wheelchair a coffin's width from bed re-reading the same love letter I'll need just one if I keep losing my place before the end
Amazing how love is born looking like Nefertiti and dies in a judge’s robes
Remember said the serpent Before we met you loved God now you and Adam have each other
Rembrandt knew love it was written all over his face
Love is an angel trapped in a human body confounded by our three measly dimensions
Love is not chicanery but art which I guess is the same
At breakfast you want to tell love about last night's dream Love has the honesty to say Please don't
Judas loved Christ the most and he too led by example
Yes all loves are as different as faces and as identical as skulls
When love dies a gift in motion— a teddy bear a mixtape a wedding ring —comes to rest
The love we want is the tree limb's for the sky The love we need is the mushroom's for the asphalt it ruptures
Charon's in love See how he flirts See how he waltzes me on the stern of his barge I'll go with it darling I'll go along with it so you can hop the gunwale and swim back to shore
Richard-Yves Sitoski is a songwriter and performance poet, the current Poet Laureate of Owen Sound, Ontario, as well as the Interim Artistic Director of the 2022 Words Aloud festival. His poems have appeared in several journals, including The Maynard, Barren Magazine, Tiny Molecules, and as part of Brick's Brickyard video series.