Nom de Plumes
// Marie Abate
Tonight I dream of airplanes landing,
ironed scrolled doorways locked in icy fog,
me sipping vodka tonics at an airport bar,
you drinking a lovely spot of whiskey and flying
through the air. Maybe you’re en route somewhere.
Maybe we are both on a sinking ship
of bad metaphors. All I know is soon
you will see the baby freckles, the ghost streak
of blond, the painted scar on the inside of my thigh
when I drank blackberry brandy once and fell down.
The doctor said, “Missy, you are either luck or fucked.
Decide now,” and I laughed through
December stars. One night I saw Orion
in the distance, and I thought of that hunter’s mouth
and if you ever see tomorrow’s papers like I do,
even though long ago I gave up ink with my coffee.
Sometimes I map my progress by the moon. Later I cross
my little girl legs and dream of beasts in a forest,
men with duck lips and holiday suits,
devouring pinking flesh of porcelain ankles and knees.
You used to dream of lions. I dream of tongues
and fish hooks and muddy ground. Some nights I want to
open my eyes into green, kiss you with fire signs,
purr between your legs and be a very good kitten
with a secret roar. Even during our earthen endings,
those nights when you gulp liquor for air
and sink against the twinkling lights,
the mermaids and the stars,
even when I’m drowning here without you,
drenched in champagne, wearing smoke,
wrapped in leopard fur coats,
wet with last night’s perfume,
I still dream of you finding your way back to me,
of both of us falling through air, earth, heat, and sea;
I dream of a place where the two of us can land together,
where you will reach for me until my body breaks.