A Poem by Joanna Fuhrman

Mauve Decade

Much has been made of our father’s missing
memories. The captain discovered them,
book fishing with his sister on a ship
made from black gills and rusted bones.

Memories? The captain discovered them
with his crush on a river of lost ships
made from black gills and rusted bones;
they were hoping for more than a touch.

With his crush on a river of lost ships
all was possible, bursting with smells.
They were hoping for more than a touch,
received less than a punched kiss.

All was possible. Bursting with smells
of the shore. He had planned for love
received less than a punched kiss,
no more than a smudge in the margins

of the shore. He had planned for love
to power the turbine blades, but
no more than a smudge in the margins
would propel the journey backwards.

To power the turbine blades, but
how? Who was he now? What scent
would propel the journey backwards,
into the cave of our father’s lost youth?

How? Who was he now? What scent
did he touch in the creases of her blouse?
Into the cave of our father’s lost youth,
a fever that bled into stars.

Did he touch, in the creases of her blouse,
his own skin curled in the shape of a rose,
a fever that bled into palpating stars,
book fishing with his sister on a ship?

for Guy Maddin


Joanna Fuhrman is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Year of Yellow Butterflies (Hanging Loose Press, 2015) and Pageant (Alice James Books, 2009).

The Poetry Section is edited by Mark Bibbins.

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