Undressed and Bedless                                                                                  —Philip Metres     

                                                     —for A

let leaves be lids to invisible
                                     eyes & branches their fingers

against the eaves to see
                                     the facade of the house—

undressed & bedless
                                     wind is what wends us

together—tree of a thousand
                                     clothed eyes, face of

this place, two bloomed
                                    wounds portal our mind

& though all that comes
                                    comes slowly apart: house

branch bed body
                                    face your eyes my eyes

this room & time
                                    our flesh unbound & bound

rhymes heat with rising               
                                    marries scent with salt

the uneyed window
                                   wind coaxes to open

each of us to become
                                    its wet and waking mouth—

[Shrapnel Map]

I don’t know / you
don’t know and want

your mouth open
to my mouth open                                                    what will it look
                                                                                         look like I want

     onto the names
     and not let go       

You manhandle my hand, draw it
across the bedded dark to cradle
your unfettered breast, and in the blind
hour rouse me to your body’s fire

When I’m half-dream, and you’re
half-dream, this skin is a borderland
without names and laws,
and everything rhymes with everything


                        want to get lost
                        lost in these maps

onto the names
and not let go     

        naming places
        places not seen

but endlessly
imagined hold


Philip Metres.

Philip Metres is the author of Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), Sand Opera (2015), I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (2015), To See the Earth (2008), etc. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, the Hunt Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters, two Arab American Book Awards, the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2017