The Battle


By Derek Russel
Aug 02, 2012 Bookmark and Share

Tell me, my love,
have you weathered the exhaustion,
grabbed beauty from all things
distant and near,
shook it between your teeth?

Why, when I think of you,
do I think of your poppy tan feet,
suddenly surrounded,
wrapped in scarlet’s and lime?
that place where I stood in the dead of the day,
fiercely transparent in dampness:
muted by the earth.

My dear, if only in imagination,
stop and travel to me.
Go out, and with your precious hands,
grab for the whole earth, grab for the lone sky,
search for the steps of an immense movement,
search out to sea, out to the edge,
out to the merging of two rivers.

Crossing over multitudes,
over years and bells and grapes,
heavy legged
with the same tenacity as the wheel barrow’s step,
I shall come to you.
Arriving, I shall gather certain candies and fruits,
and a straw basket
to place your steps in.
And the battle, when it comes,
in strong syllables,
in vanished kisses,
utter to me the color of your love,
and your tiny hands, like two weapons,
carefully knead them around my heart.