on the water reaches out
against its own structure
straddling ruins and waterways
by the black sea’s elliptical depressions.
night-lives necklace along the coastline
slope and glow
I left you there. You wanted
to watch the fishermen.
their nets drag up the harem’s history
feminine fish-tailed spirits
trafficked out of the blue
alleys. we’d call them amber alerts
but they were concubines
reclining, pillowed and richly
prepared in airless chambers
-their rainbowed eggs left useless
in the sea. in the froth,
smoke or marbling wash:
of motion, could be scrim
or sky. basilica ceilings stick
sexless white angel
cheeks and deep-set
in heaven feathers. my
favorite kind. you can’t leave.
couldn’t come home now. your city
has these retractable qualities
the ancient city queen’s coronation
still occurs in seagull circles
(which is the morning) and gold-leafed evening gowns
(which is the river).
I wish you could feel your absence
the way I do. your nothings
sit around my empty patio chairs
it’s late October. I should have
put them away weeks ago.
this season the sunflowers
until their heads were chewed off
and carried away by the squirrels
rows of headless mammoth
stalks. my mind makes them
into you, mumbling dumb
in the breeze
Catherine Leigh Reeves has taught English and Creative writing in Wyoming schools. She received her MA at the University of Wyoming, with a focus on American Poetry and Gender Studies. You may find her poetry and articles in Rust+Moth, Rise Up Review, and Plath Profiles.