Áurea Kochanowski

There is a crush of leaves against the door,
and I know that the poplars
have started to die.
It is expected –
the soil is worn out by countless memories
of rose
and lavender brush.
Still you favour the last apricots,
which melt in your hands
and turn your wrists sticky,
as you invite me palms-up to your sunset lap.
You call me pear-and-plum,
and lick the nectar
that pools in the hollow of my neck.

All I want for us is a garden bed,
where the curiosity of bees
leads to honey –
two laughing, blush-wet girls,
petal-breasted in the summer.
You draw blossoms on your soft arms,
so that when you leave,
the hive will follow.
Were I Melissa,
I would forever nuzzle
at the ink stitched thence,
but just as all nymphs do,
somewhere at your hemline,
I get lost.

There is a dark god who loves you;
he offers the ache of a crown,
and says that pomegranates
will ease the bloodflow
of our parting.
I whisper to the pale sheets,
there will be snow soon.
You will free yourself from your shroud
and taste winter underfoot.
Here shall I gain the means
to suffer patiently.
Eleusis is a hearth, iridescent.
The moon drifts branch to branch
beyond my fingertips.

Áurea was born the only girl among thirteen grandsons, based in Australia with Polish-Rroma heritage and a taste for spoken and written stories. They have work featured in Bent Street, Kaleidotrope, and Not One of Us magazines, among others. They are queer, will definitely go into that museum over there, and have an unfathomed enthusiasm for chickens. You can find them on Twitter at @AureaGaily