Linger

We could perch on the details

of this near end.  How I

have worn you

as my skin for decades,

let every sense curve

toward a blossom

or fruit of your choice.

Burning any fringe

or edge you don’t like,

I beg to fit in your chosen

mold, to slide like a wedge

of orange between your teeth.

Steps without you

are shards or ribbons,

weeds, cardboard boxes

thrown in my path.

And I have forgotten

the muscles used for lifting.

Originally published in Pamplemousse 2016 and forthcoming in Water Shedding from Finishing Line Press

Watching Laziness

Pablo Neruda says

high up in the pines

laziness appears naked.

So we go outside

to gawk, our hair

in oily strands needing

a wash, and wonder

how she climbed

to where she sways

in the wind.

When did she undress,

this arboreal

debutante of sloth?

Has she always been

without covering,

born high in the trees

to look down

as we plod along and fail

to hear the bristly

symphony of pine needles?

We would join her

if we could manage

the climb, or hang

safely once we arrived.

Instead we sit

watching her freedom,

humbled by the intensity

that true

laziness requires.

Originally published in The Potomac Review in 2010 and forthcoming in Water Shedding from Finishing Line Press

Beth Konkoski is a writer and high school English teacher living in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children.  Her work has been published in journals such as: The Potomac Review, Saranac Review, and Gargoyle. Her chapbook “Noticing the Splash” was published in 2010 by BoneWorld Press and a second chapbook, “Water Shedding,” is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

Image: Pine Trees (Shōrin-zu byōbu) by Hasegawa Tohaku [public domain].

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