April 20, 2011

Heidi Kenyon

Even Sheets

When my mother left her third marriage
she took up ironing. First her own
clothes, then mine; soon my doll's
dresses. Even sheets. She showed me
how to open seams flat,
to start with the yoke and let
everything flow from there.
Sometimes she put little creases
in the fabric as she pressed
the big ones out. Musty,
floral scents of starch and sizing
wafted from her room, next to mine;
I fell asleep to the breathing
sound of the iron's steam.

Farm to Table

Does splitting
wood in the rain wash
blood off the axe?

"New agrarianism" sounds
pretty fantastic in print.
Feathers in the kindling,

new, chaotic red flowers
on my pink barn boots.

Eight Kisses

“Sending you eight kisses;
place them where you will.”

Take my hand, in the bar, to begin; brush my
inner wrist with your absinthe lips, send a flutter
of alcohol fire up the radius. Then hold my coat

and as I slip in, catch my jawbone with
your teeth, gently, with a teasing flicker,
and convert that to a chaste cheek kiss to remind

me to keep my shirt on.
In the car cup my chin
as if you mean to kiss me soundly,

but stop, let those sea eyes sparkle, and kiss
my own eyes instead, and bid me wait.
Outside the door, as you jangle

with the keys, don’t kiss me at all; beckon
me in, and take my coat off, and let
your lips caress intricately my top

few vertebrae; your fingers shall explore
the bounds of the velvet bodice. Come
around, push that moss-soft cloth away

from my body, place your next well-chosen
kiss on my breast, just beside the nipple,
to tell me you’re in charge of what comes now

and you’re about to send me spinning. Pin
my hands behind me and breathe lower,
kiss my navel; touch

with your tongue the past and the knotted
ribbon of reverse eternity.  Yes, lower.
Yes, let your lips unlock me, where you kneel

with such intensity, and let the seventh
be the first true kiss after the sweet forever
between then and when you remove

that scrap of thin black lace.
Feast. And finally, now, come here
unto me, and best of all the eight:

give me your mouth.


Heidi Kenyon is the retired co-founder of a cooking school, a former editor at the University of Idaho Press, and the mother of three. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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