Opening poem, Never Completely Awake

      1. From 

Never Completely Awake 

    1. by Martina Reisz Newberry
  1. Beautiful

                  for my Aunt Jan who is . . .


Beautiful isn’t it,
the way some beaches are sand
and some are small, smooth rocks and
the way the water bends like molten silver
when the weather is hot and
it’s late in the afternoon? 
the way the sky tears down the middle
for lightning and mends again later on 
how breath turns white in the cold and
how the world’s roads move across the land
no matter what 
Beautiful, isn’t it,
the way love rhymes with glove and
silk rhymes with milk and
rage rhymes with cage? 
the way the light stays on and on
during the Summer months and
a different kind of
when Fall makes it fade early 
the cleanliness of bones in moonlight
when the desert is silent and without wind 
the cool rind of a honeydew melon
and the perfume inside it inviting taste 
the way a woman hums to herself
while she gets dressed and
sighs one hundred sighs
when she undresses 
the accident of passion,
the brush of hands, then mouths,
then bodies doing more than brushing—    
flesh on flesh
to music older than the stars 
the smell of soap
and burning wood
and frying onions
and a diner far up the road
that you didn’t know was there 
Beautiful, isn’t it,
the smooth red bark
of the manzanita plant and
a long teardrop earring
that touches a woman’s neck 
and how Beautiful
a full cupboard
jars of delicious things
There is the Beautiful
ice sculpture
with perfect pink shrimp surrounding
and the Beauty of buttered potatoes 
Beautiful the strange trailing roots
of water lilies and
the zippers on dark leather jackets 
the figurine
of the two-headed saint and
the red satin lining
of the box it came in 
a new book, a new shirt,
new sheets, a new pen. 
the lover that used to matter,
the one that matters now,
and the ones that never mattered 
a pain that stops,
a cut that heals,
a scar that was earned,
not inflicted 
a hand sitting in for
your mother’s hand
a dance, a smile sitting in
for the ones your mother
could not give
Did I say how Beautiful
is the purity of a
man’s shaved head
or the long, dark hair,
a man might have—like
a river down his back
a drinking glass so clean
it looks like water
holding itself
a runner, a cyclist,
birthday cake
a childhood that might
never have been but was
the way you read
or hear this poem—
your eyes wishing
for everything,
wanting this to be one thing
that will not be content,
one thing
that will not be captured.


© 2017 by Martina Reisz Newberry, Deerbrook Editions


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