Poetry by Leah Baker
Seven months, I let the amber
she had given me
melt in the cloth folds
of an elephant silk purse,
pomegranate blue and stuffed among crystals
in a Belgian tin
And in the time it took to
be shipped from there to here
was the red rolling weaving of
a tired sunset.
At the end of the Indian rails
I came back and
I lived in a friend’s apartment
for the one month’s lease that remained,
empty except for a hard flash of pink dye on the bathroom tile,
an air mattress blown up grievingly
and set in the corner of the only room,
eight plastic bins of all my belongings
that I hadn’t seen in a year and wouldn’t open.
I ate summer squash and sweet corn
on the one plate she lent me and
fasted the rest of the time.
I don’t know how we decided that we’d live apart when we returned; it just
happened that way.
How can I tell anything other
than what’s true?
We let things return to us
in pieces of wavering music, insipid textures,
the shape of that stone, the taste of that wire.
Shivers crossed my forearms
when stranger she
placed that fragrant resin in my palm,
so good I never used it,
that only now, returned to me by air and freight and opened two years later
does its deepheart sound
touch my throat.
Leah resides in Portland, OR and teaches writing at a public high school. She has had her most recent pieces published or forthcoming in Soliloquies Anthology, Lit Tapes, Thrice Publishing, Panoplyzine, and Twyckenham Notes. She is a fierce feminist, proponent of the consent movement, and advocate for creating more inclusive spaces. She can be found at Opal Moon Attunement.