The notions of trees when seasons turn,
as even now, at half past fall, the sycamores
have curled their leaves like old men’s hands.
And the stubbornness of stars, though stars have
always seemed too haughty with their faint, cold light.
And wind—eternal mad sculptor—whisking crumbs
of pyramids across oceans, powdering
them against stark cliffs, blind skyscrapers.
Does the soil in my garden hold a memory
of roots, of rain, as I crumble it in my palm?
Trees, stars, mad wind, black earth all endure.
And what of love; does it? Even when
the heartless wind empties my hands of it,
does a bit of it remain—a taste, a trace?
At 5 a.m. rain wakes me, boughs outside
the window going wild in northwest wind:
gnarled horses galloping crazily in place
while you twitch and murmur in dregs of sleep.
In an hour, the wind will lift my hair, trail it
like yellow paint across the sullen canvas sky.
You’ll drag your hands through the damp wilds of it,
weave it through your knuckles, hold it like pale rags
next to my face, press your thumbs to my cheekbones,
say everything but goodbye & my eyes will leak
rain enough to drown every poem I’ve written.
I will clench my teeth against the wind
and watch your jacket, darkened at the shoulders,
disappearing down the pot-holed road.
Ricki Mandeville is an editor, poet and dreamer fortunate enough to live near the ocean in Huntington Beach, California, where, on the best days, the tide washes up a love sonnet which she has no choice but to write. Her poems have appeared in Comstock Review, San Pedro River Review, Pea River Journal and many other publications.