Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review

Sample Poetry: Issue 15


Dragonflies in Love

This night is bleeding indigo
but we're reaching for something darker.
The gibbous moonlight
gives us a patina of old silver.
The moon has a veiled face
of one too polite to stare
as we love on the grass.
The blades are forgiving
under the roll of our bodies
and spring back like a cowlick.

New love is often immodest
like dragonflies and street dogs.
Elm leaves quiver in the breeze
as does her upper lip
with fine beads of sweat
that mirror the lunar glow
and with a groan more eloquent
than a soprano aria
she collapses to my chest.

--by John E. Buri


Parables of Survival

Every night I
sing I reinvent
parables of survival
Blues  the uncanceled
stamps of white Christ
masses wrapped in Magnolia
hospitality or peach
tree kindness to neck
bones or a memory of
four Birmingham girls

I invent
laughter in marathon
runs        Every
night       every
night       every night
I sing

Blues
simply a prophecy
wearing dirty overalls

There are nights I
long in honey
suckle blossoms on
Momma's lip
stick of evaporated dish
water suds
Where that evening
train's whitle blows
my name a kiss

And where at that evening
train's stop I
board a dream   And ride
Lord   I ride

--by Sterling D. Plumpp


Leaving

I lean on her belly
Fresh with the smell
Of soap and lard.
Her legs are like good, thick rope.

Her hand weighs hard on my spine,
Corn on an unripe stalk.
Behind us, a path cuts
Through the burnt, grit-chiked grass.

She pushes me from her,
Pulls the scalded tin from the fire,
Offers me hot drink
To replace her hand.

I clutch the smoking cup,
The biting scent
Of mud-colored coffee,
Say nothing.

Each day I have scooped the straw
That stung my fists,
Each day drowsily fed
The crackling seeds.

I walk, shivering, through the dust
On this road I will not walk again:
My feet chew
And shovel the ground.

Dust feathers into clouds.
A startling flurry of magpies
Flings small bodies free from the aspen
Into the sky, white and empty.

--by Savannah V. Derien



Stradivari

To make
his violins
he used
only wood
from old
cathedrals,

saturated
with the strains
of a thousand choirs
so pregnant
with purified
utterance

it bled,
with but
the slightest
godlike touch,
celestial
resonance.

--by Larry D. Thomas


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