A Poem by Marjorie Evasco

THE QUICK BRUISE AND RUN Of LOVE (for Mary Ann & Marc)

I.Summer twilight slices into two Halves of a sweet cantaloupe; At table, the speckled stargazer Opens its fragrant petals windward; At my foot, our old cat dreams. Nothing here betrays the grace We speak of at each meal, together Or alone. Today, while one of us Sits under the tamarinds, And another wades the golden river, I alone sit at table, a mother Attending to the core of fruit Cleaving to the knife, the fuchsia Flower sundered by summer’s heat, The cat purring its ninth life away.

II. Yesterday night after dinner, we told An old story, pausing at a part We did not love but could not Gnaw off. It is your hurt fathered Into child’s shape, vulnerable To faithlessness. As the story twists In the telling, you speak of a newBorn child, whose limbs could break Or neck snap. were one of you to hold The tender heels and swing against a wall. We need to put this story right.

III. Long, long ago on a fevered night, A mother sat by her child’s bed, Damp cloth soothing flame of forehead, Limbs. in her vigil she vowed On pain of death, to beg the life Or health back into those cheeks. The fever broke, she held her kind And knew the gods had ears. Son, Daughter, take this story-child With care. In the curve of your arms Your father’s fruit survives the fall, Becomes your bruised but living grace.

/ a poem by marjorie evasco

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