you are mesopotamia

by Steven J. Serafiani

I met a woman who lived in panorama,
she saw sea shells in my sawdust,
she took cold breaths and transformed them into snowflakes,
she would sit me down on a bed of grapevine,
and tell the story of every one of them,
in each story she told, her blue seas would swell and burst at the word symmetry,
I would nestle my cheek in hers,
my hand sang on her back in melodies accepting,
our mâché hearts at eye level circulating,
as a violin echoed vibrato off ruby red curtain sway,
she would pull away and sit Indian style on hardwood,
scratching her middle name into the shellacked surface,
I’d join her momentarily but she would shoot up and head for the kitchen,
she’d grab a wine glass from tippy toes in her underwear,
take a sip from the merlot well and lean both hands on the cool counter top,
I would come up behind her and set my hands outside of hers,
lower my nose to her perfumed hair and we’d perform a respiratory ballet,

“I am rotten,”
“You are ripe,”
“I am barren,”
“You are Mesopotamia,”
“I am a dirty feather floating in a tepid stream,”
“You are a wispy cloud hovering above a placid ocean,”

she’d turn, mascara veins branching like Tigris, like Euphrates,
and we’d sigh,
this, this, every night.

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