Eddie Watkins

Skirting Boundary

In the world of small desires
sad terrestrial creatures
curtain time, and cells of night
gather untampered green. I live
in the tree behind me, bridge
of low-key exhilarations
crossing broader limbs
to expectant cabinets fulfilled
by nervousness of sad sheets.

The hedgerow has been covered,
unhinged from the contingent
into the shadowed and imminently possible
where swallows answer bridge.

Its position towed to a distant lid
where blent strawberries bluster
skirt's folds, and eyes string up
inverted views to scan
the endless manuals. Then around
the house to Summer sprawl, roses
in extension, and neighboring girls
conjuring late-night flavors;
profuse gateways of yellow
far from paper into sunless brush.


Woman Putting On Pearls

Her gaze's dreamy, unimpeded horizontal
by stairway reaches transient belief:

Down corridors of chainless events
and forgotten watch, the latent subservience
of sunrise enhances expectation, takes
our gestures by pontoon to Reed Island,
foliage patterned by microscoped molds;
to a gathering of calm adolescents
who ease our remarks into flat inscriptions
hung by treasured cords. The message

will ultimately be received; her gaze returned,
enhanced, by the world on which it opens.


Posthumous Masterpiece

We forego the appetizers
and settle into a velvet plate
stacked on nobody's tomato, as they rehearse
like an obsessed frequenter of lonely blooms
the former stagehand's unknown masterpiece.
In transit they operate backwards,
transferring the floodplain of remarks
to an abstruse system of similitude.
It is a fly in our face, unpredicted
in the present glut ("There has always
been a glut."); it arose
from his farmer's nose, overwhelmed
by the fluxions of discovery
and by the songs he heard chanted
under his skin. So the makeshift gurneys
are rolled into place, and the audience
of similar critics multiplies itself
to create a funhouse effect
that stumbles through his rows of fruit,
each in its inner workings transmuting seed
to end up an eye in a single can. Behind
the swinging Dutch door they halve the recipe,
get waves of nostalgia pertaining to
our grandmothers' collective basements
(theory pending). This is how
our earliest known plantings fractured into
his living scales. He was a strange fellow,
usually kept to himself; but he always
had a good word to say about the weather.