Hill Country - Lisa Bickmore
The sheets shorn back, my hips at your mouth:
yesterday we bought white peaches near the Pedernales River, which runs
through the ranch where LBJ lived out the last years he had the prescience to know would be brief. Acre after acre he added
to the spread, to console a late despair. The fruit scents our room, where we’ve told ourselves the past is past, in this interval far from home.
A Sunday morning, this hotel room — we can afford to take it slow, even though the sky grays with smoke
drifting north from fires burning in Mexico. Another crisis, this time not ours. Not ours,the territory, the ranch’s soil which,
we were told, derives its dark strength from the river, its cycle of flood and decline, flood and decline.
No erosion, despite the fitful havoc —just laden trees and a profusion of blooms: evening primrose, bluebonnet,
wrinkled poppy, black-eyed Susan, thistle, wild cosmos, and over all of it, the birds fly, swoop and dive.
We’ll take our cue from them, the peaches now spilling from their flimsy sack. You’ll lift
your face to me, move up and over me nearer, your lips and beard stained with juice, the pulp and flesh of your tasting, eating.
* Lisa Bickmore lives in Utah. She has published one book of poems, Haste. This poem was highly commended in last year’s Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition, which is open for entries. www.munsterlit.ie for details.
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