Stephen Fuller *** Poetry, Essays

Palimpsest Kiss, a poem, revised

 Leaves, petals and stamen
 Down on knees she traces
 The texture of a flower 
 That emerges to spite her.
 Palimpsests under foot
 Words cemented whose
 Return pushes up cracks.
 Stay man. Petals. Leaves.
 
 Leaves, petals and stamen
 A flower’s spite persists
 As love slithers through
 The palimprift. Oxygen
 Veins require blood carry
 To kiss lips of memory
 That textures the trace. 
 Stay man. He pedals. Leaves.
 
 Leaves, petals and stamen
 A child wanted this kiss
 Knowing it would persist
 Inside her palimpsests.
 She traces its texture.
 She inhales the flower.
 She pushes through cracks.
 Stay man; he pedals and leaves. 

I began writing “Palimpsest Kiss” on a walk to work through an old neighborhood of Black and Whites in Singapore, the houses colonials lived in during the time of Raffles. The poem drew me in but never fully formed; like an idea in the subconscious that clung to the edge of the rift to the conscious, unwilling to let go and find its place in the world. It has been revised, tweaked, and re-shared many times both here and at my old poetry blog, SailorPoet. This time, the revisions exposed a crack to me through a small reshuffling of stanzas. While the poem below has a darker tone, perhaps, it speaks more clearly from the subconscious having let go and fallen through the rift. Please, enjoy, and let me know what you think!

(C) 2020, Stephen Fuller

10 Responses to “Palimpsest Kiss, a poem, revised”

    • Stephen

      When I moved the second stanza up front, I realized I had a foundation for a story by changing some pronouns and then played around with the words to flush that story out. This one really was an enigma; when I first wrote it it was maybe the length of a sonnet and had a nice word-feel to it that plugged into some emotions. But it lacked heft, there was nothing there beyond that initial emotion and on a reread it became empty. That’s when I wrote a version of the one posted on the 9th, this was two years or so ago on my other blog that is defunct.

      Still, I liked it, but it just felt hollow and lacking an emotional core. This one, though, perhaps because of the distance time allows us to get from the original authorial feelings, I agree, is more clear and cohesive.

      Thanks for the feedback Liz!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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