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Carolina Lover

by Jesse Morales 

Livening together in the blueberry house’s multiform sun,
leaf shadows scattered on the bed, two records playing at once
on their last velvet grooves — we two almost lovers lay
listening to the coal train pass.

I had taken refuge with you before, on your brick-housed
elm-lined porch-lit street, where your city maps and European mead
seemed exotic decor — but on this heat-white afternoon,
freeing your hair from a fig branch

gone stray on the bedside windowsill, I felt overfilled with color
and home. Why now, in the silence after the train,
should I see your mouth bathed in golden light —
teeth stained in merlot —

as the center of all the lands I’ve seen, of comeliness,
of dreamtime lotuses, of all unknowns?
You, my careless Buddha, my musical dharma, my sangha, my home?
Our touch lasted the fruiting season, no more.

“Teach us to care and not to care,” you said that Eliot said.
You taught me how to spin into worlds, lay my tracks and seeds,
and roll away again; you taught me desire and its ends;
you showed me the suffering in every growing, moving thing.

Jesse Morales lives and writes in North Carolina ‘s vibrant Piedmont region. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Nervous Breakdown, Poetica Magazine and The Journal of War, Literature, and the Arts, among others. She will attend an MA program at Eastern Mennonite University next fall.

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