After Pintauro

Eileen Chong

 

And on my travels I came across
a boy holding his purple heart
in his hands like a broken cup. I touched
the handle – it turned into a bluebird
and tottered away on unsteady
feet. The boy unfolded
himself into a crane and tucked
his head under a wilted wing. His leg, a post
from which a flag flew red, blue and white.
I lowered the flapping thing onto the ground

and it spread out like ink. It was the cold
of the black-and-white tiles of my mother’s kitchen
seeping through my bare feet. I was
a knight. The morning sun laid
its hard hand across the breakfast toast
in stripes. The cat sneezed fairies
as it washed the plates with its whiskers. I asked
for a map. It was lowered on a glistening line
through a searing heart-shaped hole
in the sky. God loves you. I traced

my travels with tendrils of thyme.
When I got to where I was
my hands were helium and I was floating . . .
The air was cotton candy and kissed me
stickily. Then I spied you waiting
on the broad bank, cradling a rainbow.
I let the air escape my hands
and landed in the middle
of the bedroom you’d unfolded
like a rusty accordion. We curled

up in the soft sheets like stoats
in the dark. Now we sleep
to dream of life. In the morning
cabbages will shed their leaves
like jackets, trousers, petticoats.
You’ll simmer a cauldron
of silver stars and I, I will weave
you stories from gossamer
and dew. Wait now – the cat’s
coughed an elf. Wake now.

 


 
Back to top