Dreamers' Songs: Nancy Bevilaqua's Poems

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Month: March, 2014

Jacksonville (For Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin)

 

Jacksonville

(for Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin)

 

Glory’s in the glove-compartment:

your little American legends

brandished in banal

Floridian night,

under filling-station floodlights,

upon overtended lawn.

 

Take your damned flags and crosses

down; these nights

those children walk alone, not

comprehending, still hearing music,

still trying to get home.

The Game He Called “Glide Against the Sky”

 

The Game He Called “Glide Against the Sky”
(from Gospel)

Lust at the edge of nothing. Steps along
the parapet: no future tense, stillness
oceanic. Gravity in black fields
of granite spheres and starry core itself
sucked upward at your skull, your singing

blood, your own core, your fear. Renegade
between your knees to whom you’d whispered,
Esa, I will learn discomfort for you,
borrow from your restless dream, alongside,
guiding, pleased. You found your nature gone

to sea, convalescing memories toys
dropped from dirty fingers. You’d never had
a moment’s faith. No matter. Look up, he said.
Scan the universe for simple signs. There is nothing
to believe, but flowers in their need trust sky.

 

How You Looked (Manhattan VA Hospital, AIDS Unit, Spring, 1990)

 

This is one of the five poems included in my book, Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days.

 

How You Looked (Manhattan VA Hospital, AIDS Unit, Spring, 1990)

David, let me wash and cool
your swollen feet while you’re awake
so nothing can get worse, at least
for now, at least not here where we
are so alone, the nurses masked,
reluctant to come in the room.

I’d almost tell you how you looked
asleep, all afternoon,
your body on a boat
losing course, slipping over fish, the sun
a yellow wine that whispered
in my head to let you drift.
I watched your face fall fully
open, saw your sheets come loose
and drop apart, your body a mirage,
your belly hollowed-out and vaporous,
your penis arched and cool
dozing there, flawless in the glare.

The sound is just the rush
of water and a washcloth
in a bowl. Tell me if it feels too hot
or cold. You’ll feel my fingers
run across your toes so thick
I’ll never pass a towel through. Your skin
is breaking up like desert floor,
no longer big enough to hold you in.

Morning Voice #1: Mockingbird

 

Morning Voice #1: Mockingbird

No winds, no fire to report,

no devils.

 The mockingbird in the garden.

 

Two Poems Published in Houseboat

Last month the online literary journal Houseboat published two of my poems (scroll down to just below the photo of the fishing boat to see them–their titles are “For a Shark” and “Haiku”).  I strongly recommend looking at some of the work by other poets on the site as well, and submitting your own work, if you’re a poet!

http://houseboathouse.blogspot.com/2014/01/eight-photo-prompts-looking-for-poet.html

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