Featured Poem 4/28/02:


if you love me then roll in these nettles until our skin
           blisters like tomatoes over a flame.

if you care for me then pierce your skin with this thorn.
           beautiful red ruby of your blood seeking the air.
if you need me eat with me arrowroot until our lips
           dry like a split corpse in the desert noon.
if you can’t live without me seek me like the mosquito
           that is swollen with lust on my wall.
if you hurt at night, open up and let me heal
           the inside of you while I cry.
if you cry for me inside, I’ll gather your tears
           in my empty tequila glass.
if you laugh I will collect your quivering breaths
           in petals of a pink tulip.
if you have killed I will hide you from the parents
           of your spurned lover.
if you kiss me my tongue will tell yours the story
           of the son of Christ who died alone.
if you love me, till my soil with your bare hands
           and I will wash them in the moonlight.
if you shun me I will open you like a book
           and mark you with a golden thread.
if your babies leave your home I will sculpt new ones
           out of mud and grass and wine.
if your wine makes you ill I will dab your mouth
           with the quills of a baby porcupine.
if you gate your soul with steel bars, I will smelt them
           in the furnace of my heart.
if everything you touch turns to ash and cinder
           I will clot them with sweat and plant seeds there.
if you wish me dead and gone I will offer my heart
           soft and ready for the dagger.
if you miss me after I am slain, whisper in the pipe
           that is buried in the yard.
if your tongue is tied with grief, let the wren sing
           in the mouth of a spring storm.
if you forget me at last tie this poem in a shard
           of glass for the April crows.
if you choose to be sad I will return and remind you
           of the blissful minute we were together.
if you lie with another lover, he will ever taste
           like my last sweet breath.

© Mark Evans


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