Rudimentary Drawing, or Exercises in Love Activity

I. I used to watch for flatness
in distant objects
like the image of you
approaching with
a sun-ripe orange.

II. The movie ends
in black and white. On either end
of your mother’s couch, we smile:
Dorothy will never be the same,
we will never let ourselves
be so uprooted by a wind.

III. One morning at my doorstep
you take my mug of coffee,
tell me not to be a writer.
I am not sure why
my hand gravitates to yours—why,
for interfering, I want to ask you in.

IV. The roller coaster carries us
to a yellow moon, a purple sky.
My stomach clambers up
to where my heart should be:
for a moment before the plummet,
I cannot tell their difference.

V. Crushed red balsam,
touch-me-nots, pressed
to my fingers
all night long: I’ll never
feel my hands again,
never stop blushing.

VI. I forget to take my medicine,
I neglect sweeping corners.
Though days creep by between the drapes,
we stay in bed, where light sifts
softly: we watch dust rise and fall and wait.

VII. Empty bottles blue and brown
line the hall and catch the light. We lie
on the linoleum blowing on the rims.

VIII. The thud of a moth
in the lantern, a half-eaten bowl
of wined berries: I let the pace of
fifty rabbit hearts course through
my memory, corrode.

IX. This shirt of yours needs washing
from the way white flecks
have nestled in the collar’s ribs.
How do such aimless, harmless things
settle so deeply?

X. The clock you left above the hearth
ticks in quiet confidence.
I peel translucent apple slices—
despite the running water,
hear it count a minute with precision.

XI. Orange blossoms whiten and wilt
in puddles on the grass.
I used to think drawing was about making lines,
tracing edges and then shading in, but
an edge is made of whiteness:
an edge is the light illuminating fully.

— Teresa Kim

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Filed under Poetry, Vol 1 Issue 2

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