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Three Poems from Carol Lynn Grellas


Song for You

For all I’ve known and yet to know-
your voice surrendered in a dream

like a winding vine of tuberose
through a country trellis frame,

your name inscribed with mine,
tangled letters layered on the page

imagined coupling behind the door,
for the smoking bed and jealous rage

the sweating onion braised inside
a pan equaled to the buttery sin,

the taste within your mouth; a fusion
movement, voice to voice where hearts

become a matching choice of parallel
parts, yet one. Save the diamond

package left beneath a mother’s tongue,
your pilgrimage here, seize the extra rung

to greet the lilac’s flowering tree,
a thousand Cinderella’s who never knew

the rue, beyond sorrow, no hope
for me, this slipper-hour, due to you.

Ritual Regarding Nakedness

After saying goodnight to him,
we slip into the pale creaminess of our bed-
lying beside him, skin undressed
I wait for his hand to cup my breast.

I’m not thinking of being twenty again,
or the first time I made love to a man
and experienced the sorrow that came
before cigarettes and consolation.

I’m not thinking of a flawless face
or how I’ll look when I wake in the morning
with the wren perched on the sill,
the two of us still braided together.

I’m not thinking of our candlelit hour
requiring perfection anymore,
or consideration for the critical eye
that held me hostage through youthful years.

I'm thinking, how do I get through
the days without the feeling of skin
placed in the home of his palm?
So I wait for the usual darkness

to possess us. The only place we
wear each other’s flesh.

Letter to a Flower Monger

Once she dreamt of being
beautiful, wooed with awe,

the way a chosen flower’s
prized, plucked from the tree.

Her long delicate stem scrunched
close within his skin, narrowed

in-between devoted fingers
like a thin cigarette, her petal-

head loosened atop the heat
of a cradling palm. She dreamt

and dreamt until she woke
to a tender wind in a faraway

garden amid the sun’s afterglow
and the blush of bramble,

her malleable green body snipped
by a sensitive hand, only to be

placed within a lone vase,
perfectly centered, adorning

the sunniest spot of the windowsill,
across from a mirror, where she'd watch

him ogle at her gorgeousness
for hours, left to dream of being

a woman who loathed
the lover of flowers.

Carol Lynn Grellas is a two-time Pushcart nominee and the author of two chapbooks: Litany of Finger Prayers, from Pudding House Press and Object of Desire newly released from Finishing Line Press.