Geraniums At My Feet

Geraniums at my feet,

I dance a river song til

dusk comes slow wandering in.

The band in the conch shell

croons; this life is impersonal.

Impassioned, unabashed,

I’m sharing me with strangers:

complete abandon.

Geraniums crushed between

my toes, red and creamy white,

I’m ambling through downtown

in search of Eden, Gatsby’s

final bash, dressed for my death.

I find a strange new comfort

in the moonlight of a strange

man’s teeth, which glint like stars.

We float down the avenue;

I fall drunk into his arms.

Geraniums resemble stars

tonight as I lose my shoes

to focus on the ground:

swirling, gurgling, toasting

to the temporary tomb

I’ll collapse into tonight.

The midnight cab, a red-eye

flight or rich bachelor’s yard?

Geraniums on my grave

in the early morning sun,

shining in the lobby where

I hail my final ride home.

The elevator dings and

childhood church bells ring;

my body a ghost, rising

to my floor on angel’s wings.

The bed sheets are creamy white,

the threadbare carpet crimson.

The liquor is all gone; all

my memories have faded.

I dream of that lush green lawn;

I mouth at my strewn duvet.

I should have stayed! I should have

decayed inside the starlight!

Where the starbursts exploded,

where the famous were sublime

and all were known to angels.

Where geraniums could bloom,

and all the world would fit inside.

On the Promontory

I feel your touch in Rockland,

in the fleeting sheets of goosebumps

that on and off coat my inner calf,

inspired by that deliberate finger pad press.

You occult, you vagabond, you

who is never mine

and is with me simultaneously viscerally existentially

all the time.

Haunting all my lower dresser drawers,

remnants unearthed in skating socks

of our decrepit youth palace:

Starland, Rockland, land of ephemeral infinity

of a single breath in time.

Between the Russian cursive

odes to Jesus, Moloch, unamending to your father

found in the Sapphic slips of my bras

and the scars that persist to decorate these walls

like sarcophagi warehouses, modernized tombs,

painted over in deceptive blue

subsequently lost through the generations

eventually forgotten

except for when I, my daughter, my son

feel your touch in Rockland

on the promontory of new machinery America

land of a thousand lights

from terrestrial comets, cigarette fires and celestial shattered eyes.

Anna Louise Steig is a young Jewish writer from the Appalachian hills of western Maryland. She is currently a student at Shepherd University, pursuing an English degree with a focus in creative writing. Her other works can be found or are forthcoming in Uppagus Magazine, Bruiser Magazine, and elsewhere. IG: @a.l.steig