Life one long row to weed. The corn parallel,
all these tassels, all these bees churn the hot
hum of growth. The field ends only when
I turn around and see pond. My life one long crooked
row broken only by replication of the pond.
Hands cracked with dirt. Feet bending over the onion stalks.
The hollow stem the release of sharp white scent over the tilled rows.
The pharmacognosic nature of August. The plastic bag folded over
the top of the box. A red handprint on a green trash can
The lavender teddy, the red and black gorilla, the orange balloon
knotted around the crown, the silver flash of the circle, the loop
of the grey scarf, the flag divided yellow and green, the white boxes
with a yellow stripe, the philodendron leaves crawling up the grey
window, the red and yellow woven basket holding all of the equations
of the world. I wish I was an exponential equation. I wish I was an endless
sum. I wish I was a bar graph, but, here, I am a yellow calculator tangled
on the wall. Here I am a shopping cart, wheels in the water. Here I am a plastic
basket in a see-through pond. Watching, held back by barbed wire and drafted
lines, lets me see, eternity, for just an instant, Mr. Harwood burns the field,
doubles the book, grass fires through the pastures, ballasts in the play woods,
smokes the clover fields; though, it has been raining for days
the kind of rain that sings and glistens down the back of your neck
until you dream in water, until even the bicycle wheels are floating
in the sky; the kind of rain that makes you think that what is real couldn’t,
that what is blue is vermillion. The kind of rain that drowses day
in a fierce and lonely thirst, later sleep walking around doing the dishes sort
of zenith, the kind of rain that listens back.
J.R. TORISEVA "Dandelion Rites" was chosen for the anthology Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound, published by City Lights. Among other honors, Toriseva has been awarded a scholarship to Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Mary Merrit Henry Prize in Poetry. Toriseva's writing has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Descant, Fulcrum, The Fiddlehead, CV2, Prism International, 14 Hills, Nimrod, Grey Sparrow Journal, Soundings East, JACKET, among others.