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Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Walking South" in The Apple Valley Review


Walking South

by Danusha V. Goska

Walking south rapidly on Alameda

avenue of rainbow windsocks and money

enjoying the sweep of the lawns and the houses

I walk to my cheap and noisy apartment

commuting on foot like any peasant.

Like a leopard’s pelt in a swift running river

my body’s a palette, recipient of light shifts

shadows and chill that weren’t here yesterday

when the sun was high at this very same time.

Flanking the avenue, sycamores, like poodles

clipped to survive Berkeley’s stingy dry summers

are shedding new east-leaning shadows upon me.

Undulant splotches swing with my arms.

And suddenly my mood, and the day, are quite different;

suddenly burrow like Persephone or turnips.

Nothing is flippant; three ivy leaves, scarlet;

I’m smelling the mothballs and planning Thanksgiving.

This light is so rich, I must savor, not squander it.

Rescue, a post card, this gold street I scoff at.

My body’s a calendar; the earth charts turns on it.

Winter is stalking this hot August street.

I’m ready to learn to obey winter’s dictates

turn to roots, eat amber fruits, baking and buttering

steaming on silver, studded with spice;

to view naked limbs claw like seasonal hunger

networks of twigs raking brief pewter light

as teachers of clarity, gratitude, and vigor.

When the year has sunk to its cold, dark aphelion

like icicles serrating down from the gables

it snaps, turns back, swings round into spring.

Sometimes I feel young just cause I’m alive, still.

And this street, goddammit, reminds me of someone

who on solstice wore black and a bright cloud

of white hair and spoke of a bitter disdain for winter

though he looked the God of it, I swear.

I wanted to take him into my home, then,

glowing with candles, red velvet, and soup,

and feed him some pumpkin, some cloves, some cinnamon

and tell him old stories and buck him up.

I wanted to make him a lover of winter

which never happened you know, these things go with the seasons

and the houses one lives in,

and how one commutes.

Walking south rapidly on Alameda

to my cheap bright apartment, hot from the sun.

***

My poem "Walking South" appears in the fall issue of the Apple Valley Review, here.


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