|Posted by WOMA on December 11, 2011 at 9:45 AM|
I’m thinking of rooms,
A large resemblance of rooms,
All the hours spent in rooms.
Someone has been downstairs
In the kitchen soaking chicken flesh
And skin in a steamy bath,
Vegetable oil seeping into napkins
Thin squares, cubed, six of them
Make another room in which
A baby is sleeping, his skin is full
Of soft, repetitive leaks, licks,
The orange cat is cleaning its fur,
Violent, mechanical head throws
To catch all sides of its coat,
Raspy cartilage of its tongue,
Housed in the dark room of its mouth,
A box of moving images buzzes
So steadily it hums, in a room
With no occupants or time worth record.
I scrape the dead,
from his fatted forehead,
Roll the night’s story
from his eyes,
& set him on the closed toilet seat.
Under his soft weight,
air whistles from the sky
I reach over aged porcelain,
water the bristles
until dripping is rushed to ease
The widening of his binding
strands, raise the boar
above his head of still-closing plates,
Unravel brief fuzzy rivulets, again
& again, and when
all is smooth & shiny,
I part my son’s hair,
just above the left temple
like the older women tell me
It is right to do.
Elegies for New York Avenue poems by Melanie Henderson
ISBN:978-1-59948-330-6, 96 pages
Cover/List price: $14 (Only $12 if purchased from the MSR Online Bookstore)
Release date: November 27, 2011.
Melanie Henderson was born, raised and lives in Washington, DC. She is an alumnus of Howard ('04) and Trinity ('07) Universities. Prior to earning an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, she studied poetry at the Voices Summer Writing Workshops (VONA) in San Francisco, CA. Her paintings, photography and poems have appeared in Drumvoices Revue, Fingernails across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora, jubilat, and Southern Women's Review among others. She was selected as a featured reader for the 2009 Joaquin Miller Cabin Poetry Series and as a recipient of the Larry Neal Writers' Award (DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities). She is the Managing Editor of Tidal Basin Review and the mother of a charming little boy.