she risks the desire to devour
his ruins. is love more agony
than married? in his tongue
fire and truth
taste the same, and found
was lost the day she asked his name.

where is the room for the absence
of god? no corridor for kiss
no revenue for pain, only thirst
and the loose pants of pining
heading south, past mexico, 
past happiness, on geese atune
to the slap and caress
of love's blue vowel sound. 
for safety, bury painkillers
under the fig's frozen skeleton
till fell nights of winter
and sing-song elegy part for spring.

his shoulders and velvet sonnets
hammer the nail of trust,
strum the sinew of hunger
yet have no hand for holding. 
curtain windows, and
bolt the door against jealous scowl
pressed or staved
through her shudder of sepia skin.



January - February 1926

I imagine it was cold. The tour audio
said there was a voice, he got lost in it,
switchboard operator, had to find her,
have dinner that same night.

Several circles may well be a season
grounded on nocturnal skyscape,
colour scumbled, opaque
& transparent, all of life and breath
in imagination's ouroburos.

I'm gaining on Kandinsky's completed
circle, yet the robin's song returns.
How does found and lost
have equal weights of permanence?

A thoughtfully arranged bouquet
becomes more powerful before it's over,
and even if we didn't photograph
every sneeze, the breeze
of blooms stays down
the generations.

Certainly, it was cold in Munich.
Love waits at the end of line;
mind seizes line, draws
end to end, kisses it to canvas.

stephanie roberts is a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has been previously featured in L'Éphémère Review, Arcturus, Verse Daily, bloodsugarpoetry, OCCULUMAtlanta Review, and elsewhere. Born in Central America, she grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and dreams of a more compassionate society, from her wee French town outside of Montréal. Instagram @ringtales.