by Alison Stine
Blood crown and black heart,
I could not find a better mirror.
I bring you a red sunflower
because I cannot bring you
what you want: desire blooming
in my body. Under stream,
you cut the flower end to angle,
begin its new circulation.
Your hands flash silver. I will
shake them off as I brushed
aside rain, coming into the building
to find the couple in the stairs:
The woman, a step above
the man, her fist ringed in ice,
fresh from striking. Do they
know what I have done? The one
I loved I love still—my touch
on her, an unanswerable question,
what the Greeks called erotima.
There will always be one who loves
more. This time, it is you. I let you
touch me, the water in the vase
taking on a redness, which rises.
Musical Contribution: “Gazebo Tree”
In Their Own Words
This song is a cover of “Gazebo Tree” written by one of my favorites, Kristin Hersh. I used to play it a lot when I lived in Gettysburg, PA in the servant quarters of a very big and very haunted Civil War-era house. My piano was in the attic, and I used to leave the windows open and play all night. But the song is most special to me because I was playing it in the corner of a hotel when I met my husband; he heard me singing and came to see.
Alison Stine’s new book is WAIT, winner of the Brittingham Prize (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011). She is also the author of OHIO VIOLENCE, winner of the Vassar Miller (University of North Texas Press, 2009). She has written musicals and plays that have been performed on such stages as the International Thespian Festival, La Habra Depot Theatre, and the Cleveland Playhouse.