from Love at Thirty-Two Degrees
Last night I threw my lab coat in the fire
& drove all night through the Arizona desert
with a thermos full of silver tequila.
It was the last of what we bought
on our way back from Guadalajara--
desert wind in the mouth, your mother's
beat-up Honda, agaves
twisting up from the soil
like the limbs of cephalopods.
Outside of Tucson, saguaros so lovely
considering the cold, & the fact that you
weren't there to warm me.
Suddenly drunk I was shouting that I wanted to see the stars
as my ancestors used to see them--
to see the godawful blue as Aurvandil's* frostbitten toe.
Then, there is the astronomer's wife
ascending stairs to her bed.
The astronomer gazes out,
one eye at a time,
to a sky that expands
even as it falls apart
like a paper boat dissolving in bilge.
Furious, fuming stars.
When his migrane builds &
lodges its dark anchor behind
the eyes, he fastens the wooden buttons
of his jacket, & walks
outside with a flashlight
to keep company with the barn owl
who stares back at him with eyes
that are no greater or less than
a spiral galaxy.
The snow outside
is white & quiet
as a woman's slip
against cracked floorboards.
So he walks to the house
inflamed by moonlight, & slips
into the bed wiht his wife
her hair & arms all
like fish confused by waves.
beyond pheromones, hormones, aesthetics of bone,
every time I make love for love's sake alone,
I betray you.
Katherine Larson 2006
*a semi-demi God from Norse mythology; connected to the constellation Orion
THIS poem mentions one of my great fantasies that I have not been able to shut up about over the last couple of months. No, I am not talkiing about making love after looking at the stars, but seeing the stars as they are without light pollution. I love the idea of getting wasted in the desert and shouting at the moon, of the presence of a loved one when he is gone, of playing with ideas of warmth and coldness, warmth among coldness...