These Visitations

A photograph of fluid with bubbles at the edge
Photo by Bowonpat -

If a love song is made of water, the water
you hold in your hands right now is a lyric,
a song inside the rusty tap released, coil
of silvered music unraveling, shivering
in your cupped palms. A sweet thing, that.
A gift channeling the acoustic nature
of the world, even if it cannot be heard,
here it is, held in the light of day, this
strange transport of tugboats sounding
through the fog of the harbor, flights
to Detroit and Singapore lifting off
the tarmac across the Bay, even
the sound of us way back, making love.

And sweet, too, the salt lick horses
are drawn to, that wild desire, what we leave
for the privacy of their twelve-muscled
tongues, mucosa-covered, the dorsal
peppered with papillae, rough
to the touch. Is love also made of this?
I lean back and dunk my head
into the steaming waters of the bath,
my ropy hair soaking in the heat
as if drinking from a summer long gone,
while a lover’s palm guides a bar
of milled soap made of cassis and lime
down the twin slopes of my back,
humming, calming the small hurricanes
that spiral inside me on days like this,
window open to the bay sparking, flaring
with each ripple and wave, the sun
hidden between boulders, beneath trees,
my hands palm up, floating, as your body,
a ghost lost in mist, begins to sing.

Brian Turner is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. With poet Dorianne Laux, Turner collaborated on this fictional poem for an upcoming book, When You Ask for Something Beautiful. 

Pulitzer Prize finalist Dorianne Laux’s Only as the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems is available from W. W. Norton, as are her award-winning books Facts about the Moon and The Book of Men. A textbook, Finger Exercises for Poets, is forthcoming as well as a new book of poems, Life on Earth. She is founding faculty at Pacific University’s Low-Residency MFA Program.