For love,

- 1934-

you leapt sometimes
you walked away sometimes

that time on the phone you
couldn’t get your breath
I leapt but couldn’t get to you

I caught the brow that bid the dead
I caught the bough that hid

I’m, you know, still here,
tulip, resin, temporary—

More by Jean Valentine

Annunciation

I saw my soul become flesh     breaking open
the linseed oil breaking over the paper
running down     pouring
no one to catch it     my life breaking open
no one to contain it     my
pelvis thinning out into God

La Chalupa, the Boat

I am twenty, 
drifting in la chalupa, 
the blue boat painted with roses,
white lilies—

No, not drifting, I am poling
my way into my life.         It seems
like another life:

There were the walls of the mind.
There were the cliffs of the mind,
There were the seven deaths,
and the seven bread-offerings—

Still, there was still
the little boat, the chalupa
you built once, slowly, in the yard, after school—