Autumn Sky Poetry - Number 4

Miranda and Caliban

It’s not safe to love
the other. The black seeds I carry
in my purse will grow as lily
or vine of jasmine. I’ve plucked
brown leaves that resemble claws
from my flowers. I’ve dusted the garden
with mother-of-pearl and shell, garnished
bone china with daisies. I grind
the cast-offs of animals. Soft beneath,
we lose hardness when we love.

As I waited for you to come, sun spread
its fire on the heads of poppies. Someone
in pity cut the chain that kept a dog
leashed to a four foot yard. Night
after night we’d hear her howl as a man
took a stick to her back because
she was hungry and dared

to want. She races into the long grasses
outside your bed, tall grasses filled with snakes.
You, who are afraid of darkness, avoid me
and my diamond eyes. I see deep into your hunger.

While I carried each stone away, lifted
the fence that kept you out, I decided
not to be scared to know things.
Sometimes now I toss fallen butterflies
back into the tattered air.

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Laurie Byro

Laurie Byro lives off a dirt road in the backwoods of New Jersey. Her husband, Mr. Byro, is a soothsayer. He spends most of the night playing the banjo to the cat. This gives Laurie space to create her breathless wordscapes. She sees them as feral creatures that have escaped from the cage of her imagination and established a free life in the shared world. She likes it best when her poems run away from her, refuse food, bite the hand that feeds them. Mr. Byro plinks out Oh Susanna. The cat cries, chases the poems into the woods. Sometimes after midnight she comes back with bloody paws. Laurie is available for Tupperware parties and stag nights. She makes fondue and molds marzipan. She was born under the sign of wanton desire. Her Mars and Neptune are perfectly aligned.

She can be reached at the Lee Memorial Library in New Jersey where she runs a poetry circle.

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© 2006 Laurie Byro