The sun hovers, smelling like a lover
around a bedroom door,
loose women’s noses
and a perfume you can’t catch,
sounding burlap thighs of gypsy waters
(moss is another name
for ghost hair),
the color of ageless
forever honeysuckles and dangling bare backs.
Who has kissed in my house leaving debris?
Heavy with Melancholy
A woman washes herself
with music, “laissez verdure” between legs.
Imagine her as a street,
a path named consent,
with film of sound.
There may be a mole porched—short and lithe—on the face,
indigo bunting feathering eyelids,
but beside, the twin—dark pale and meaty,
dry duct lip, edge of hair and teeth of bass.
Put sweetboy in your belly
mostly silt and throat, the only way
an artist can shun.
A Confession in Paris or Etude
Walking liced towel
in the white sink
surround of own smell,
sedity moonshine caught in the eye
creases to shared coconut over peeled ear.
You can’t dance after your body has danced,
the sickness hearing before it’s heard.
This body, my sluicing neighborhood,
undertow of eaten bland dirt,
some tilling of solid and welt,
falling asleep at every prayer,
precise, mumbling to stillness,
sloughing to Chopin,
in the street, the open mouth is nocturne.
Tiffany Austin, who grew up in Missouri but now lives in Florida, has published poetry in Callaloo, Obsidian III, and Coloring Book: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction by Multicultural Writers. She has an upcoming poem to be published in the anthology Dampen to Bend: An Anthology Mapping Transport and Transition, and her first chapbook, which includes poems inspired by Tammi Terrell, will soon be published. You can obtain further information about her forthcoming website and chapbook by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.