Beauty Is (I)

Posted in poetry with tags , , , , on June 16, 2014 by Sarah Haynes

Beauty is a quiet, long, clean line–

the thin angle of your nose or your

hip, hip, hooray, so small compared with

collar and rib, so fully compact.


Beauty is short, loud, and curvy–

the smell of my perfume hitting you,

a celebration of width and fullness,

shoulders, breasts, wasting away.


Beauty is bold, brash, and calm–

the tongue-taste of summer wine and

somber kisses, the succinctness of sense:

smoky along the line of your lips.

The Graffiti of Aging

Posted in poetry with tags , , , , , , on June 14, 2014 by Sarah Haynes

The dusty ghost of old paintings haunts the walls:

reminders that I am not the only tenant in this world.

This is the graffiti of aging–the skin of experience

has found a wrinkle and is beginning to fret, a disused

guitar that needs some strong, grey steely strands.

The spirit of youth is wily, though: a coyote I cannot

outrun; shaking spray cans and laughing. And the question

becomes–not can I catch up, or could you? But can we

choose a color suitable for both the old and for the new?

This Bird

Posted in poetry with tags , , , , on June 7, 2014 by Sarah Haynes

This bird is angry, insistent, incessant,

disquieting, disgruntled, dismayed;

and she will not shut up for anything.

That bird just flew away. But this bird

is here, unraveling you: to stay.

(You aren’t) The Only One

Posted in poetry with tags , , , on June 5, 2014 by Sarah Haynes

I won’t lie, not to your face: never
my sweetheart. But you aren’t the only
one I could ever love, or ever leave;
my dearheart, you aren’t the only one
I could ever call sweet or dear, you aren’t
the only one I could ever call after dark.

I won’t lie with you anymore, dearface,
heartbreak; you aren’t the only one I
could ever wake up next to. Not one more
morning. You aren’t the only one I could
stand brushing my teeth beside, or ask
to hold the ladder while I replace bulbs.

I can’t ever again see my face by yours:
never, my sugar-skull. The only one I see
is mine, staring gauntly at me. I’m the only
one in bed, and the only one getting spit
on the mirror now. I can’t blame you for the
burnt-out light. I’m the only one here.

The Song Bends to You

Posted in poetry with tags , , , , , on June 4, 2014 by Sarah Haynes

At night I’d cradle you like an upright bass:

too tall for me to play the lowest notes on.

You know how to sing just as sweet in a cello’s

tone. And you’re wound tight in places, but

your tuning pegs get loose when it’s cold.

You still sound good to me. Somehow you are

never are out of tune, or maybe the song

just bends to you, like I would. If only I could

once cradle you, like a sleeping bass, and

sing a ballad, a standard to you. With you.

Rocked by the Kasbah

Posted in poetry with tags , , , on May 30, 2014 by Sarah Haynes

The toe swells, rocked by the Kasbah,

by the gravity of things, and number four

is shot: grazed and bruised; while I am

distracted by Moroccan music and the

idea of someone loyal, so rare in my life.


I’m supposed to be regal, but my history, too

is grazed and bruised by the atrocities of

too-human failing. Like a fallen peach, I am

no longer brilliant, but dimming, blue, grey,

and green, too sweet, too soft, and too old.

The Things of Memory

Posted in poetry with tags , , , , , on May 11, 2014 by Sarah Haynes

Someday I will stop looking at the past, stop examining the things of memory,

the smell of campsites, of cigarettes, of sweat and toil, of being freshly washed,

the taste of arctic char, of pickled ginger, of dandelion wine, of a bloody lip,

the light in a field–or over ocean–with shimmering clouds scattered, secrets within,

the first time I heard your voice, and the last. The ringing beauty of my horn singing,

the touch of you: so many, beside me, warm, comforting. The comfort of being alone.

The feeling of well-being, of my growing strength, the certainty that my senses

have not exerted their potential yet; and neither have I. The past, and my

memory, are moving further and further away: one day at a time.


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