Thursday, August 6, 2009

Serrano y Lima

She is slicing limes
in the kitchen

as July becomes a baptism
of sweat
down my back
and my neck
and my arms

kneeling to pull up
the iron-willed weeds
stealing the shade
of the rosebushes

I have ignored them too long
and they are confident
in the depth
and reach
of their roots

She is slicing limes
in the kitchen
slowly

I’ve abandoned the trowel
abandoned
the spade
stooped and
scratching
wrenching
digging
with dry fingers
in quiet dust
in a quiet
war

and the pepper of earth
in my nostrils
reminds me
and the slick drops
sliding from my temple
remind me
and the way they bead
and sink
on thirsty ground
reminds me

She is slicing limes
in the kitchen
slowly
in a thin dress
swaying


My progress is slow
my weedpile
laughable
to the dandilions
to the crabgrass
to the sighing
rosebushes

It is mostly leaves
and stems
and very little
of anything
unearthed
and I wipe a wet face
with a damp shirt

She has stopped
slicing limes
in the kitchen
in her thin dress
as her eyes
close
as she sways

her hair knotted loosely
off her shoulders
as a gypsy guitar
sings low
from another room
as my hands spread
across her belly

Her finger
is the tang of lime
on my lips
as July drinks the juice
from the cutting board
as July baptizes us
in the kitchen
down our backs
abandoned

as dandelions
laugh
and rosebushes
know

18 comments:

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin, this is sumptuously salacious - a poem for the ages.

It's as fine a poem as I have read in any journal or anthology by any poet - period.

Karen said...

The narrative structure, the images, the turn - all coalesce into one sensual whole. The distraction of just the thought of her and his picturing her movements, and the way you build the image, adding details that tease us as his thoughts tease him is perfect form.

The contrast of her living with his futile attempt to purge the dead weeds is so well crafted as to be integral to the poem rather than contrived.

You know I'm a fan of rhyme and love your rhyming poetry, but this one has an equal appeal for me.

Kaye was right. This is as good as anything I've read.

Gerry Boyd said...

Perfecto!

BloggerMouth said...

Serrano y lima. I love it. Every Thursday I read your blog, hoping to find a good read and never once have I been disappointed. Just wanted you to know that your poems make a difference. At least to me, they do. Thank you.

Aniket said...

Did you and Karen switch places today? She rhymed and you didn't???

Well am embracing the change. :D :D

Loved the structure and imagery of this one - The slow unraveling, the tease, everything.

Aniket said...

PS: I just saw what you've done with Karen's award 'I love your blog' ROFL!!!

Julie said...

Is it okay to cheer here? I hope so, 'cause I'm gonna do it anyway. Yeah, yeah...I say the same damn thing every week...but I've got a new Joaquin Carvel favorite. This poem rocks the house.

I can smell those limes. The images are fantastic (baptism of sweat, pepper of earth in nostrils, etc.). And, of course, the image of the woman in the thin dress. I love how you "build" on her character as the poem progresses. It's a beautiful love poem without being "mushy." I love it on so many different levels.

Jannie Funster said...

lucky gardener!

And sumptiously stated.

S.L. Corsua said...

That was a throat-drying read. Ahem. Where was I? Oh. Not in THAT kitchen, unfortunately. (chuckles)

Seriously. Throat dry, hands applauding, high-pitched whistling my praise for the poem. (If I had a hat, it'd be shooting up in the air.) ;) Cheers.

RachelW said...

Oh, wow. Just wow. This is triumph. You had me holding my breath!

Moanerplicity said...

The IMAGERY throughout this piece is magical because you've given such life to inanimate objects and even the mundane dance of drudgery. But the final two stanzas are so DAZZLING that the reader lives inside the moment! Such wonderful visions you create to remind us that life is filled with the lushness of moments.


And oh, BTW... in answer to your profile's inquiry:

"What would you name your ballet inspired by the sight of children leaping through a garden sprinkler?"

My ansa: Wondrous Hysterics.

Snatch JOY!

One.

Lin

Rick said...

Magically well done, Joaquin.

lena said...

thats so very beautifully done. Love the pace and the structure of the poem. And the ending line is just amazing :)

Sarah Hina said...

My favorite, too, Joaquin. I stopped here a few days ago and couldn't come up with the words to express what I thought. And I'm still at a loss.

I love his watching her, while engaged in futility. I love the slow build, the added layering. I love his stepping in, the blurring between daydream and reality. I love the sumptuous details, like that tangy finger on his lips, and the sweat as earthy baptism. And the final switch in point of view.

This is just sublimity. I really mean it. I'm awestruck by the beauty here.

Catvibe said...

It really is all they said above. It's magical, sensual. I actually felt turned on reading this! Whoa. Peppers and limes, perfect. I love the switching back from him to her and then the coming together. I love the feeling of high summer and the delight of the gardener knowing what is happening in there, and it brings joy just to garden, and to know the coming rewards. God there are just so many ways I love this poem.

joaquin carvel said...

after reading through this week's comments - i am overwhelmed, and stunned, and humbled beyond belief. beyond everything.

K. - i've seen your "25". i know you are not a casual reader of poetry. i don't know what to say, except thank you, profoundly, truly.

karen - again - i'm blown away. i've seen your "25" also. thank you.

gerry - gracias!

bloggermouth - thank you for that - that's exactly what makes it all worth it.

aniket - crazy huh? the universe is a funny thing. i almost didn't post this - but now i'm glad i did. thank you.

julie - cheering is cool with me. thank you!

jannie - i know - lucky! ;) thank you.

s.l. - we should all be in that kitchen. i mean, not all at once, but...you know what i mean. so good to hear from you - thank you so much.

rachel - awesome! thank you!

lin - wow. thank you - coming from you, that means worlds.

rick - glad you dropped in - thank you.

lena - thank you for that.

sarah - and i seem to be at a loss trying to respond - your words are amazing and deeply appreciated.

cat - pretty sure that's a first - awesome! "high summer" - something about that just lends itself to this i guess - thank you.

Vesper said...

The others have already said all that I could say... *sigh* Wonderfully erotic, a gem!

SarahA said...

I found you 'Blog Hopping' and am glad I did. This is quite beautiful, you.The images in my mind's eye striking.