This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from The Ministry of Flowers by Andrea Witzke Slot, released by Valley Press in 2020.
Take from me this dove’s-egg nest
in which you can place your charms
and maybe even a dream
or two. And here. Go on. Take
this cup of mud and feathers,
a nest woven just for you.
Will you put all you carry
in its shelter? Settle close
as I ease you like a song?
Oh, I know pulsating need.
My wings, they are waiting-warm.
But these, my legs? Brittle-cold.
Naked as winter. 1e sun
draws low, as if it too asks—
Darling, let’s undress and rest,
make love on a bed from which
a hundred-year-old trunk grows.
Let’s spend the afternoon there,
consent to mischief and sin.
It’s quite easy. Just forgive.
And when dark arrives, and death
glows like light in open palms,
may what we earned in cool night’s
air, all we learned and all we
shared, find its way from bone to
wing when flesh no longer cares.