These are notes to lightning in my bedroom. A star forged from linen thread and patches. Purple, yellow, red like diamond suckers, children of the star gleam on sweaty nights. The quilt unfolds against sheets, moving, warm clouds of Chinook. It covers my cuts, my red birch clusters under pine. Under it your mouth begins a legend, and wide as the plain, I hope Wisconsin marshes promise your caress. The candle locks us in forest smells, your cheek tattered by shadow. Sweetened by wings, my mothlike heart flies nightly among geraniums. We know of land that looks lonely, but isn't, of beef with hides of velveteen, of sorrow, an eddy in blood. Star quilt, sewn from dawn light by fingers of flint, take away those touches meant for noisier skins, annoint us with grass and twilight air, so we may embrace, two bitter roots pushing back into the dust.
From Star Quilt by Roberta J. Hill. Copyright © 1984, 2001 by Robert J. Hill. Used by permission of Holy Cow! Press. All rights reserved.