The Star That Slept
The sun had lost its heat;
And knelt at the cold well in the clouds.
Like a ball of cotton
It erased the color
From the sky’s fingernail
Leaving it neutral and insipid;
A stopped clock,
A stymied year,
A world before form and meaning
Had twitched it into life;
A page unfulfilled
By the preliminary sketch
That gave it hope.
And all because the sun
Had given a great sigh of weariness
And retreated into a murmuring sleep,
Soft and purring,
The eclipse of the star that slept
Writhing in vegetable curves
Coiled like petticoats,
Neither bud nor blossom.
A garden invader
That spun green and modest
And as workmanlike as a salad.
Wound tight as a shell
Or the helix of an ear,
It grew close to the earth:
A spiral of leaves curled to listen
Not to the sea
Not to words
But to the botanical life
That breathed and rippled
Through the maternal silence
Of its earthy crib.
I saw the twilight lower like a dusky eyelid
Soft and cosmetic
A mix of spilled powders and rouge:
Of lavender shadow
And plum-flavored lipstick.
I saw the marine layer descend,
Rippling with rain and currents;
A gray ether fragrant with salt and brine:
The harpooned breath of whales,
And the submerged pelagic worlds.
But the barbaric summer’s parasitic wildfires,
Dissolved the sky’s pretensions
Of cherry and auburn shadows
Into a soft chaos.
Like an alchemist’s coin,
Minted in his boiling alembic,
The sun hung like a blistered watch.
Waiting, until it was to be consumed,
By the perfumed evening
And all its subtle upheavals.
Melinda Giordano is from Los Angeles, California. Her pieces have appeared in Scheherazade’s Bequest and Vine Leaves Literary Journal among others. She was a regular poetry contributor to CalamitiesPress.com and twice nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. Her writing speculates on remarkable things – the secret lives of the natural world.