Sunday, October 2, 2011

Poetry by Lauren Tivey

There is a way to open your body
to the land, like a lover.
There is a way to read the mood
of the soil, like a prophet.
Out here, crows are omens, and clouds
ambassadors of the August sky.
There is a way to synchronize
your pulse, to learn the cadence.
This is the only way
to fill your basket.
Isla Mujeres
Skinny as a stray
she roams the alleys
in a white communion dress
brown legs blooming
out of lace socks
and scuffed shoes
three pesos for gum
from her straw basket—
she likes my earring
jingles it with a sticky finger
and her black satin hair
sways as she skips away
all the girls work here
bringing back fistfuls
of greasy money to Mama
who is washing the clothes
in the yard, among the chickens
and broken glass.
Woman on a Blue Balcony
See her from the street
the chipped blue paint
white stucco wall
you think the sky
should be gray
a storm blowing in
that she needs a shawl
imagine a simmering
in the eyes, a bad lover
entire telenovas in your head
chest-thumping and weeping
because she is standing
on a blue balcony
and her hair is long
and her eyes are black
but an afternoon sun is stretching
its long fingers into this clutter
of alleys near the Plaza de Armas—
you see she is only surveying
her comfortable universe
the warmth of her satisfied
brown face, simple blessing
of her flowers drowsing in their pots.
Now turn, and leave her alone.

Lauren Tivey has been busy traveling for the past two years, and is currently living in China, where she works as an English Literature teacher in the American Program at a Chinese high school.  She received a MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and her work has appeared in Negative SuckThe Literary Burlesque, Blue Lake Review, The LegendaryGutter Eloquence, andSnakeskin, among many other publications.  Her chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas & Other Poems, was released in July of 2011 from Big Table Publishing Co.  She lives for poetry, photography, travel, and adventure.

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