K.R. Copeland and Michelle Greenblatt
Friction Burns
Tantric bend and backspin,
this cobwebbed passion

flesh-helixed obsession,
the lovers unmindful
of being discovered. Their knot

is not unlike a silken labyrinth
where Widows clamber.

Their bodies weave the same fine thread
by which Theseus
tactfully crept

his way back to Ariadne. Taut
and golden once
again, it guides them
through secret realms

to one another every night,
where friction burns
their fires deep

into each
other’s skin
Three years after the accident, she drives through the memory–infested intersection of East Las Olas
and Southeast 8th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida at exactly 3 A.M. She brakes abruptly
under the silver slipper moon.
Handfuls of cold rain throw themselves like rhinestones at the windshield, scratching at the glass; she can hardly remember his face before the red spill
of ambulance lights drowned
the entire Town
car. Why him and not me? she asks herself,
the rhinestone-rain furious now. Old wound traffic signals blur to green. She listens to the trees stream up toward the Chinablack sky
as the past continues harpooning by. All she wants is for the pulling
to stop. It’s only love, he’d say, laughing.
She forces the silver slipper she wore that morning to the floor and steers her car toward the sea.
A single ray of scorchshine sends the waxbills and the weavers winging wildly toward a thick of Tamarinds. Seedpods, on the cusp of busting, plummet in disgust at this sudden rush of interest in the shady side of summer. Muffled humming of bees and the chorus of crickets cluster in the daisy-dappled weeds, nature’s traffic stop. A monumental copper pot. A golden moment - hovering - between each humid wave of wanton heat.
Like nostalgia, pain has a way of creeping up on us
Like nostalgia, pain has a way
of creeping
up on us. I remember the days before illness
and injury, the paroxysms
of grief when agony seized control of me. Before ravaging
torrents of rain crippled my existence, before I was handed
down a life-sentence
of immobility. Before the weeping,
long before the grimace. Pinpoint
of blood intaglioed where the first fissures formed
this internal rift. Years later, I still remember everything.
All day my small, pale hand opens
toward lightless windows. My mind doesn’t let
up, won’t yield to this bed-affixed lump
my body has become. Instead it spreads its wings;
soars and dips and dives and lifts
itself above the highest sky-lodged starline, where a bloodless white
listening echoes back the emptiness between every cold-
blazing celestial body. The numbness floods in
again. Do we ever get a second chance?
It’s what I don’t say that speaks the loudest.