deliquesce

by Lynze
Salty Dreams
Second Place, March 2009
Judged by Elena Karina Byrne


your face warm against the curve
of my neck. a palm, a panic, a circuit
breaker, closing, when we are
the beating of wings in cove. your nude

foot balanced on the rim of metal
outside a door that opens at a word.
the word is look, the door is yes. lips
fold into my heart, a strip mine. the no

that i could not say. powerless
in the wan sun, clouds with fire
inside, mouth on my thigh. your wrist
a river, banking in flight. the creek

in your arm, the water of my body.
the questing banks we follow with
a snorkel, a mask, a school of minnows
that tick frantically. explosion.

the slow melt of snow over crocus —
my eye, falling into yours.


The title "deliquesce" is the verb form of a scientific term for minerals (especially salts) that "have a strong affinity for moisture" so the poem re-enacts an alchemy that transforms this kind of affinity, an intimate experience where language and image fold into one another in a liquid-like solution of surrealistic transference. "Deliquesce" plays on linguistic expectations and delights in a fall-out of images where "the door is a yes," the "yes" that Wallace Stevens once said, "the future world depends," and here, where the very nature of sight is also a process of feeling upon which we depend. --Elena Karina Byrne

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