Poem with Lies

Jessica Laser

Nothing in pride but a flower.
Nothing in a stare but glass life.
No fruit but a spore
and silent nectar. To remember
this is to bear all things. Life bears  
no fruit but of too much color, stands
for taste where sun and taste ally.
Branches permeate less 
I see through them. This is not a passionless lie.
I know they are living when all they slope
is pale and dusk beneath and though 
I open my finer imitation, love 
is a child spurned, unpracticed for.
Things I’ve experienced number
far greater than those I love, so I felt,
as I feel, doubt is fate,
and doubly so for being left alone 
indeterminate. The thief is about.
Must be. I have three verses in me left
before it leaves and it’s summer
summer summer. I live
with three people. They
are my parents. They place a bowl
of sand before me and a spoon and
beg me drink. Drink? I ask.
The chain is yellow. She is sitting
there, and he and he. And with the sun
one end in each hand
I pass the hours walking
a child poverty comes with
money on the table
and leave remembering
having no belongings
my funds are exercise. The 
child moves faster for it. I quarter
the three I love most
four chairs round a table
the blue vase full of flowers, life
a show of flowers. Your life 
is showing indebtedness 
revenge. I say it won’t
be long now, the verses are up
with the sun. The sky tucks
in the newborn focus.
When the parliament falls,
down will come interest, 
a transparent person, three
of them, turning on me, their focus 
over the table, money
and a glass of sand I could 
mistake for settlements
in the way of clouds. Only yesterday
I saw them stirring and let them slide
under me where rest takes shape
home because in summer
there is no war room 
or medicine. In summer there
we are. Too much outside.
And the blood when waters freeze
is the blood-thick salt left when waters
leave. Time passes so quickly now 
I can hardly say all the words
I don’t want to say to say
I can’t say them. I have.

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Jessica Laser's poems have appeared in Boston Review, Lana Turner, jubilat, Petri Press, and elsewhere. A graduate of Brown University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she teaches writing in Purchase, NY. For more: jessicalaser.com