The Silk Road Epistles
I stood by the road and smelled your skin
on merchants and missionaries entering the city.
You sent letters written in a celestial alphabet
that confessed, Dear savage kisser,
my heart is always. One day you arrived
offering cocoons and mulberry leaves,
and we sighed together in our mutual loneliness.
I discovered your body split by a meridian
of burning nerves, so I only kissed half of you.
That night you stared past me at the single shadow
we formed on the wall, and the next morning
you were gone. Dear pleasure,
Dear darkest fruit, my heart divides
and divides and is not yours. I saw a door
in water and a door in stone and a door just beyond
the cliffÕs edge. I went to erase the hours
I mistook pleasure for happiness. Always my bones
knit back together. Always my heart fails
to release me. New letters arrive to say,
Dear memory, the old pleasure
is the enemy of the new. The courierÕs
shaking hand smells like ginger and raw silk.
- Traci Brimhall (from inter|rupture)