Leena Joshi

Three Poems

the stranger

at this age
im busy
making room
for what
could
happen to me–
marinating
in a slurry
of dreams
seeing myself
age seven
running
down a wide
street
–sucking
on a purple
clover
honied nectary
bruised
freaked–
let me
grow up
but not get dead
–im afraid
of serious
the way a slice
of sunbeam feels
on morning arm
like praying
half asleep

background music

I’m downtown walking on marion and 5th
and a woman is waving across the broad intersection.
I raise a hand and wave as the sun disappears

behind clouds again. it turns out she is stretching
and actually I am stretching also. there’s no gesture
to show you’re unsure how something started–

–moving on, I am honest. most mornings I wake
with the same song playing over–like a dream
scrap on a reel or expression as an anchor. I cross

the walk and crane my neck into the sun. old thoughts
slide on old thoughts making ash for nothing new
to rise from. again I’ve brought you into a day amused

with its own loud quiet and watery wind. it does not care
how love develops! this light is undependable. wherever
sounds are housed in my body they rebel.

no angel

the phone always
rings twice in heaven

there’s no rush to answer
and everything is gentle

here you came
bashing your split ends

against the clouds
and yelling NOO heaven

NOoo heaven
noooooo heaven

I laugh and agree
finally some entertainment

we leave this place together
wanting to eat whole small risks
wrapped in rice paper

into your mouth I pop

a fattened coin a baby’s braid
a caulifower stem

you make plans that feel
like something
I can let myself

we go to cliff sides at night
to remind ourselves
of natural edges

weeping I wake up
from a bad dream
thinking

I haven’t yet loved
the right way

you put my tears
in a basket to grow
beautiful molds

and it rots
in the shed
to this day

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