David Matthews

I Will Dream Cellos

I will dream cellos
and a twelve-string guitar, a twelve-bar blues,
a good night, Irene, of rivers
deep-dark as the unfathomable sea,
stars, the sky, sleep, and the passing of time.
I will dream
magnolia blossom dew-moist with dawn,
cloud sweet as honeysuckle on a melancholy morning,
you when you allowed your head to rest on my shoulder
and your yellow hair fell across my lips.
I will dream on a night dark
with kung fu crows and wandering sparrows,
the juggler and the fool when they kneel at Piaf's tiny feet,
an illumination of wisteria
I remember in your eyes
just before you showed the agent your ticket
and she waved you through
and you walked to the train
without looking back.
I live in the shadow of those days I dream,
even now, the case closed and the book leafed through,
nothing more to take and nothing left to give.
I will dream cellos.

Tango Girl with a Pale Green Shawl

A cow with a white face, red ear, and one blue hoof
ascends into the bounded sky
from a stand of pines at the meadow's edge
where yellow grass damp with winter rain
rises to our waists.
The bells of a little church on a hill
too far distant to be heard
ring out across dark fields rich with shadow
and colors we suppose will come with spring.
I clutch my cello to my breast
and follow the tango girl,
who pulls a pale green shawl
around thin shoulders
as her green-eyed gaze meets mine.
We come to a clear stream, hardly a stream,
a trickle washing over stone.
Her voice is hoarse with whisper of magnolia
and moonlight on the ruins
of too many yesterdays to remember.
A yellow streak in light brown hair
where it falls across her forehead
catches what remains of moonlight
as it careens across the countryside.
Books and dream bloom in damp rocks
that rise above her.
The sun paints the edge of the world a different color
a tender moment before it appears.
She smiles as if she knows my thoughts and waits
while I search for a name to say who I am.

David Matthews is a native of the South Carolina Midlands, resident of Portland, Oregon, poet, runner, and engaged intellectual. His poems have appeared in Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Quill & Parchment, the anthologies Fault Lines, Ghost Town Poetry, Volume Two, 2004–2014, and elsewhere. Essays on film, books, current affairs, running, and other topics can be found on the blog at his website Portable Bohemia (www.portablebohemia.com).
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