ANNA JOURNEY


 
 
THERE’S A LANDSCAPE THAT REMEMBERS UNDER THIS ONE

and the rosettes of the brain-shaped succulents go on
thinking their pink insomnias

up and down the dark canals. When you can’t sleep
you wander the common names

of leaves you wouldn’t let creep through
the blue hours of your house: the finger mound,

crown of thorns, mother-in-law’s tongue. Someone’s
garden hose hums between

the partial anatomies. You see your past
twitch in the potted baby toes. And a man’s

stubbled cheekbone dreams on the crest
of the nipple cactus. The swamp you’ll never return to

rises in the black rose—what you’d throw on the little
graves of your mistakes

as a reminder and over-
water, wanting to heal them,

wanting to piece together this night, white-
knuckled, which can never be whole.
 
 
 
 
WANTING GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI’S JEWELED FISHBONE SANDALS SIXTH MONTHS
AFTER THE SPLIT

If those golden skeletons cut from Italian
leather laced my ankles,
then I’d stroll without
fear through the old city. I’d return

to the hunched magnolias that threaten
to drop their bombs—scent of old sugar
and sweat that knocks me
back to the other life. Other life,

why won’t you disappear
like the brief crease
a dream leaves in the cotton
lacework? Is it spit

or Arrowhead Lake that evaporates
its silt on my pillow—where he
camped with me beneath the yellow
gloves of sassafras

and played a chestnut fiddle. Was it
his voice last night that lapped
at the lake’s wavering edge? I’d step
toward the border that divides

mud from the ripple, the awake
woman from her mattress of ghosts,
guilt from the body’s slick
midnight tossing. In my shoes

I’ll walk the lake’s trail and his face
won’t surface, dip an exposed toe
and disturb my own. I’ll recall the lost
streets named Cherry, Laurel, Pine. I’ll keep

time with the past as it snags the rhinestone
ribs of my sandals—those
fishbones so clean I could believe
they’d never touched blood.
 
 
 
 
 



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