Four Poems by Stacey Teague

81

walking home with red-stained lips
and a phone-light to see where i am walking
are street lights a thing

when i see the moon i almost fall over
all big and kind of orange
looming

the moon reminds me of things
whispering “i am nothing and that is okay”

i feel melodramatic
and laugh at myself
moving my hands over my face

hiding from the moon because the moon is big
and i am small

i am just a person walking around on a planet
and life is not inherently good or bad
it just is
i am not a moon or a star or a galaxy

i have the same value as a blade of grass
but i would like to be a blade of grass

the moon made me think
what does it really mean to know yourself

freckles on my lips and knees
instinctively letting my hair fall this way or that
scars and what made them
looking extremely sad on buses
dispositions

i can draw my own hands from memory

the moon is making the sky orange
the moon is leaking

it is cold
i press my body up against the wind
let it kiss me

i’ve got my jacket on
hands in pockets

up on my tip toes

stretching up towards
the orange moon


82

when i think about writing a poem i turn off all sounds, sort of stare into space for a while and just see how it feels to exist inside of a human body. it is something like a distant humming, a vibration akin to pins and needles. my body is making the noise that my macbook makes when everything else is silent. this humming sound is produced by the movement of blood pumping through my veins and organs. sometimes this is how i feel after i have been drinking peppermint tea, or when i am in love.

i can feel my heart in my chest as though it is significant, as though it is not just pumping blood around my body but also feeling the weight of all of my actions and interactions. i think about people who have wrapped my body in theirs, like a sheet wound tightly around me. i have never felt so good.

all of this makes my body feel light, and i wrap my arms around myself to make sure i do not float away if the wind decides to take me. all the time i feel as though i could jump up into the air and be carried away.

it is getting warmer

soon the humming of my body
will be eclipsed by the sound of cicadas

soon pohutukawa trees will bloom
and i will shed my inhibitions like layers of clothing

soon i will drink a lot of beer
and kiss your mouth


83

i feel translucent
carved out like the inside of a pumpkin

propped up by pillows
i cannot feel anything else

in my headphones
i am listening to the sound of rain
wanting to slide so far down into my bed
that i can no longer see any light

later, in a city street
resting wearisome limbs over wearisome limbs

we speak of things
with breaths shallow and urgent
words like water that wanted to return
to oceans, rivers, lakes

our bodies together
defined by the negative spaces

i say that
touching you is like putting your hand through smoke
creating waves upon waves of echoes

then
something about
skin deflated

the tree above us sheds its leaves
we feel them on our jackets like tiny pins

there are palms pressing upwards into spines

whispering into your neck
“there are some things that i will keep forever”

later, the sensation of needles


84 (haiku)

in a dream i reach out to touch you
and the texture of your skin is
the surface of a lake

the mid-morning sun that streams
through my window does not feel
as good as your body with mine

stumbling outside with coffee
i take a cigarette between my fingers and
i watch the smoke move all around me

together
we put our hands into oceans
and rub the salt water into our skin

sitting on the steps
i feel the shapes of my memories change
like shadows and moving light

your hands
are the only thing that keep my body
from incorporeality

i never remember anything else
but the sensation of skin with skin and
the scent of you


Profile: Stacey Teague

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