Ripen

Tree branches sneak into

my mouth errant like Christmas

lights strung across a house in July,

skies embrace and push —

suffocate the world’s radiant

lusciousness.  Leaves on the sidewalk

thrum and this is where I want

to share a bit of death every day,

peeling strips of joy from branches

that are about to burst forth

and blossom while the body

empties its cries.  Mother covers

a son’s shoulders while the dog on his leash

dances by: Hold my hand, feel it ripen

into yours and hope nothing rips

away my only tether to this very world.

 

Elizabeth von UhlElisabeth von Uhl graduated with an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She now teaches. Her work has been published in the Cortland Review and Cream City Review, among others. Her chapbook Ocean Sea has also been published by Finishing Line Press.