With an Emphasis on the Shine

by Corey Zeller

its precarious idling, how it unwinds itself, like garlands

or votives or beads or the brass on the unhinged cupboards

in my lover's kitchen.

How her camisole strap falls, her bare shoulder, her tattooed arm like an old, Coney Island mural. That dream she had: I bought her a fake, diamond necklace in Manhattan. She wanted to kiss me in the alley but was afraid of the rats

or the crowds, or the tawdry russets of smoke and earth,

like the cooing, ditzy rustle of colored leaves in Upstate New York

where we got stuck behind a farmer's wagon stacked with bales--straw

tossing over onto our rental car--gold mixing into more gold--

until she made me stop the car in a field, just to kiss her

just like respelling your own name, translating yourself into another, knowing the taste of her mouth is all you want to know. Not cherries, or whisky, or the green apples a stranger gave us at the six-pack shop. Just salt, maybe mixed with marijuana--her mouth touching yours, as simultaneous as sleep. We parked like teenagers, kissing to a Tom Waits song that later made her daughter cry on a chair, thinking it was about angels

not lovers, only the broken iridescence of the autumn moon

in the park, above 9th Street

and the Green Garden Tavern

and all the heavens above it, shining.