EXCERPTS


BOTTLE TREE

Jacqueline Kolosov


Not words secreted in glass,
but spirits
wooed by firmaments of umber, cobalt,
and an alizarin crimson so pure
it recollects the lure
of the serpent's tongue.

The body, too, is a vessel
not unlike the vase of faceted crystal
housing August's lushest rose,
or the eggshell's liquid sun.

Once, on a long journey to the north,
a stranger pressed his palm
to the window's fogged glass,
the heat of his hand finding my face,
as if trying to recover there
another mother, daughter, wife;

and beyond the surging train,

a fleet of snow-drenched pines
guarding an alpine lake of such depths
the native people believed
the source would never be found.

This morning, we hang bottles
on the nubs of our dead tree's
silver branches, trying,
within the prisms of the ordinary,
to bring the unseen into being.

Poems used with permission of the authors, and may not be re-used without their permission.