The Vocabula Review

November 2006, Vol. 8, No. 11 Sunday, May 1, 2016

Two Poems Karen Bjorkman
Web version


All girls here dream of leaping bulls.

What calls them?

Is it the brief spin they crave, drunk?
The game of landing in the holy spot?
Or is it the hot scent of muzzle, the flank touched briefly?

I think
I would love most the air.
The flight above the beast that
tosses anger and comes on.
Watch a priestess.
What joy she finds in the collision's rush
as she springs, hand to horn, and swings off its thrust like rope.
She finds her arc,
seizes it,
twists in its song with a windy thew
to light on dusty soles
arms aloft
upright but tottering.

In Athens, we, too, dove.
But from highest cliffs into sea.
It sucked us deep and thrust the air away
with the weight of music.
I learned to ply the weight of three —
my limbs, the air, and the churning
the way these girls would ply the ox,
their airy arcs,
and the pull of the earth.

Now on Iaktos, prisoner, I watch the gulls
and dream of kites.

I will unmake my clever arms
with sea, and wax, and feathers,
into wind
into machines of air.

Borges and You

Borge's slight scent
leaks from the shelf.
It may hit if I approach the window
in the right frame:
about to gaze on the white day above the brick
with no other mind
or if the jay in the spruce whistles
and I go to look. It can't be called.

The teak shelf suspends a thin row by the window.
There Dreamtigers sits,
the dream tiger within it
and Borges within him.
The scent drifts out faintly
as smoke from a candle.
It tinges your nose
the place behind your nose
and the place behind the place.
Then it is gone.
I can pull out the book to caress its cover,
or not.

Just so, some days
ironing, or picking up a sweater
I catch the scent of you.

If you enjoyed these poems,
let your friends read them, too

Karen Bjorkman

Karen Bjorkman :: Move me   Karen Bjorkman works as a technical editor.

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