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Recorded as part of the Poem-a-Day series, October 27, 2015.
About this Poem 

“I am not a fan of tattoos, but the black feather on the Brazilian dancer was a mark that could not be unseen. It is always interesting to write about desire, what sparks it, how to obtain it, what happens when it is gone. The dancer’s movements, that tattoo, his beauty—ah the sparks.”
Patricia Spears Jones

Dancer

The man with the black feather tattoo pares this space
Between fantasy and the memory of a man’s carved
Torso, designed for stroking and celebration.

Today the sun’s brightness is like that lover’s kiss,
Wonderful in the present and greater in memory.

A memory that brings me back to that black feather’s
Flutter. Stars dazzle in some other part of this world
Where the sun has set and the moon illuminates
Swans diving into voluminous waters.

Copyright © 2015 by Patricia Spears Jones. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 27, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Patricia Spears Jones. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 27, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones, a longtime resident of New York City, is the author of A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015).

by this poet

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Jim

You looked Texas today
road hard, scrubbed brush, blown tires
gasoline islands

But later California returned—fortune’s poster child
radiating. Truck full of gas,
cheap camera in the glove compartment
stuffed toys on the dashboard,
beads on the steering wheel,
a pretty girl’s

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Ghostly falls from the fifteenth floor
Feathers leaking/ the pillow speaking

How the sleeper's nightly pounding
Made the pillow yelp and moan

Poor sleeper heard these comments
Angered threw said pillow into

An ugly summer night's air

The pillow had little

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And I am full of worry I wrote to a friend
Worry, she replied about what—love, money, health?

All of them, I wrote back. It’s autumn, the air is clear
and you hear death music—the rattle of leaves swirling

the midnight cat howling, a newborn baby’s 3 am
call for food or help or heart’s