Ode[s] to Joy

Ode[s] to Joy

I. Merry Little Bones

Leaf in xi—
Veins spread over, contoured in their halcyon,

She is a melody laid gently
In the raw curls of teacup-smoke.

She allows the ants to crawl on her back
And make the intricacies in her spines their home,
Her fractals.
She loved the itch, more so when it grows,
Slowly but surely in the fanning, like a fire,
The scarlet sentiment, licking clean the corners
And coating it in rain and ash.

When she dries, she becomes
A bookmark for thoughts,
Her fingerprints: all indices.


II. Saint Sylvia, Overseer of Obscurity

But for every bone is a museum housed,
In every joint a point in history — stories in every fold.
A short clash of sighs,
Of spirals of wings fey and fertile,
In her neckline clasped and plunged
Pristine knives of nerve and sharp
Curiosities curated from places unknown.

Come, innocence, ask me,
How virgin is the virgin earth? Where have her soles trudged?
Her feet, explorers of virgin dirt, while her teeth on tongue,
Producers of laughter in virgin mirth,
As if I needed more miracles.

Look, she comes bearing
The diagonal carve — stone-cleft nuisance in space and shine,
Blooms forth between grime and dust, the ever-clearest!
In your nearness, words fuse themselves into structure,
Letters life-like — rain on me, book-shelterer.


III. Cloud-Phalanx, in Reverence of Sun

Curiosity comes as a braided maidenshield, her pre-Medusan aegis,
An anthem to Athena. Call me out to Olympus, your lofty wall;
I shall follow where the scent of ambrosia takes me.
In such a well of references, a fallow page
Distort the struck chord in the heartstrings of yore,
Humble and pure, the glow ancient.

Dream of me as a necklace of smoke, pendant ascendant from lips to eyes,
Enveloped in your hair like the a’mentioned curls, for the life of me
I cannot fathom to be apart from your pores.

In my thinnest I sway, as a river flows, like water, like stars,
Be them kissing pebbles or kissing scars — paths in sky,

This Ionian plea in common time must be
But a throne of dust between fingers as delicate as the Venetian
— so runs in your veins.

Again, and again, the circuitry begs to complete itself,
And prove itself, like ympyrä…
I expected you in my weakness, you appeared in my strength, tongue-tied dove,
Your feather-waves’ deceivingly gentle caresses
Effectively disrupting circadian rhythms.

— A. P.


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