Before we part, my love, let rainbows arc and sprout from the base of my tongue and into your cupped palms, before the saltwater fishponds teem quicksilver, azure, and sunrise hues, before the aqueducts and irrigation ditches are sculpted into damp earth, before these mango groves are hewn, before these gravel paths ripen with fallen fruit. Before we part, lover, breathe your song into me.
Remain by my side as wind deity, as word, as eyes bright with both dusk and amber. Remain with me so that we may keep vigil, both of us before morningís honeyed light filters through Brooklyn fire escapes. In our vigil, let there be only witness, and I will offer you stillness rising into unfettered dawn. Here I will weave a dreaming of lovemaking bodiesí fire and salt. Here, I will teach your hands to weave crescent moon into ocean current, serpent hiss into riverís rush. Here I shall weave a selvedge of we.
Lover, ever shall there be a we, a ceaseless, insistent we, the fiercest we, bound only to the knowledge of scars upon my flesh, and the segment of my spine which aches to sprout wings. Deep within lightless dovecotes, this we shall remember the lamentation of songbirds as it remembers the lingering warmth of your retreating form. Ever shall this we know how tender, your flesh at the throat, how the most fecund black loam of your scent sates me.
Lover, do not let the sun steal you from my side and set you wandering, for now we know red hibiscus blooms here in your city of constant sirens. Lover, bring me your bones and your fire, and I will keep them safe.
Barbara Jane Reyes
was born in Manila, Philippines and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her MFA at San Francisco
State University, and is the author of Gravities of Center
(Arkipelago, 2003) and Poeta en San Francisco
(Tinfish, 2005), for which she received the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her work has
appeared or is forthcoming in Asian Pacific American Journal, Chain, Crate, Interlope, New American Writing, Nocturnes Review,
North American Review, Parthenon West Review,
She lives in Oakland, CA. Her author website is http://barbarajanereyes.com.