Louis Maraj

Morning 28


                    Naked you are simple as one of your hands
                            —Pablo Neruda, "Morning, Sonnet XXVII"

Clothed, you are not. Interwoven and complicated helices
on your sweaters, you have unsure multicolored fibers, panicked
fluid shapes wanting to be smooth, solid hues, wanting to be seized.
Clothed, you are light-defined gloss of mascara, caked, inorganic.

Clothed, you are drear, industrialized colors fogging urban night;
your blouse's grey buttons are each uniformed face of the moon
moving through it. Clothed, you are too what's crowded underneath, the fight
of bottled spirit in a stone church grasping up, wanting to bloom.

Though clothed, you are still a quiet prayer to be gripped,
a febrile thump at your breast, wanting release more
and more until you let those weary clothes be ripped

off, moan as if the sun's hands bisect your
legs, pry open your petals, leaving you
drenched in wet morning, naked, clothed in dew.