by Lee Nash
These Chinese lanterns in my head
need pruning back. I find the letter,
pressed flower inert –
geranium masks the scent of deceit.
The first time, I fill the bath;
steam mingles with my out-breath;
crackled orange paper
stains my damp body. I find you over
in the ornamental shadows;
the moon waits for our blows.
All the ripeness in me longs
for the breaking of the cage.
* * * * *
"Chinese lanterns" was first published in Muddy River Poetry Review, Issue 14, spring 2016; it is also included in Ash Keys, Lee Nash's first collection from Flutter Press.
Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online journals including Acorn, Ambit, Angle, Antiphon, Magma, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Presence, and The Heron's Nest. Her first poetry collection, Ash Keys, has been released from Flutter Press in 2017. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website: leenashpoetry.com.