Alex Streiff

Aubade with the Marking Scent of Tobacco, Sweat, Sores

Dear, the anemone can’t hear the wind,
and next to the herbs that spring and wilt,

women squat, the wings of their pelvises
low and wide as in childbirth. They never forget,

the old women, how the dogs yelped
while men’s diamond-shaped hands

pawed across their small, walnut-like breasts,
pressed their backs against farmhouses,

marked slim tulip signets. How they understand,
embody, short-lived positions, how right now,

as they start to get up, bend over thyme, the wind
stoops the blue anemone and sweeps the ground,

the faint rustle of I want, I want, not different
than the waking lover, blunt through sleep.

Alex Streiff is the fiction editor of The Journal.