@lines DAVE MALONE
It’s not a pretty dance.
Unlike the USO flavor of the 40s
where GIs with buzz cuts
and Bogey half-smiles
wooed ladies with Coke-bottle
shaped dresses, accentuating every turn.
Some of the best blackberries
like to rest, throned like kings,
bulging paunches, with thorny
footmen at their sides. A few sword thrusts
and your fingers are pink, shades lighter
than the juice you seek.
But you’ve come for the adventure of it.
To push back the prickly advances
of smaller suitors, to sidestep poison ivy’s
greenest touch. You go into the deep
where little light passes, you’re off balance
and leaning. But this is where the truth is,
the culmination of earth years and finding
the sweetness in your lover’s brambly hair,
the ripping touch, the poisonous days
you survive, to break through into the deep,
where the sweetest fruit grows.