Her hand glides across the cool white sheet
grasping pen
(inkwell full)
words tumble over
lips aubergine
close the space
between words barely heard
and those not yet uttered

His hands conjure
spaces within
supple parentheses
opened with a word

Her breath catches
poised on the edge
of words/notwords
letters unglued
now indistinguishable
from breathfollowsbreathfollowswait

Consonants crash against vowels
slurred in tides rising
to unprecedented heights
Marks dark and bold
mingle with intimate color

The field
(quiet and spare)
underscores the dialogue:
text now entangled
in the history that remains

© 2011 Lisa Hartjen

Stoking Fire

I spent the night with the potter
his skin lit by ember
raw umber
honey gold
light nourishing walls
caked in paper and clay

One word
an offering of friendship
Two stokes
in tandem ease into truth
Three small fires
gather momentum

Honest eyes touch
gentle smiles
flash across solemn skies
fire coaxed from the safety of silence

© 2013 Lisa Hartjen

Mt. Kailas

I woke early
hours of tussled covers
and uneven breath
to meet him before dawn
primal syllables
animating the stucco yurt
fell silent to probing ears
today he looked rough and uprooted
“You’re walking the razor’s edge,”
I told him as he moved in closer

Swimming in delight
his eyes filled the entire world
each time I peered inside
confusing guidance
with carnal pleasure
he tempted many who crossed his path
leaving us all breathless
and tearful
willfully lost
yes, and in love
with a man perched
upon the highest peak
orange robes
(appearing unattainable)
until this moment
I hadn’t considered the possibility

The path familiar
the choice complicated
respond to man
or mountain?
far from home
his presence sovereign
yet so familiar



© 2013 Lisa Hartjen