Three Aeolian Meters

Hapax Legomenon

Three Aeolian Meters

by Sally O'Brien '07

1. Sapphic
I was born in April, although I know I
am no crocus; nevertheless I think I
know what one might feel like before it opens,
flower-parts gold as

egg - or deeper, turmeric maybe. Such, love,
was the stripe of color you painted on my
spine the other night with your thumb; I still can
feel it, a little.

2. Alcaic
I liked it back when we didn't have to speak;
we met as tense and gentle as olive oil
on water; beads that tremble and spill
over the surface in lenses of gold.

But something opened up when I held the thought
of you still in my throat like a sweet and let
it melt; now all that isn't mine of
yours is the way that the light cups your face.

3. Hendecasyllable
Sky's a bit like a painter's cup for rinsing
brushes, feet-bottom dark. The water coughs at
piers. The night boats are lowing on the river.

The same color as every fourteenth-story
window, lit, or the streetlights by the empty
platform, after the late night train is gone, the
humming freight elevator's up switch. This same
color, yellow as newsprint, dull as brass (from
years of tenorman sweat the octave key worn
brown). Like that, with her features loose as stretch marks,
like a dirty gold dollar, short of round and
bruised, the moon, looking over 35th street,
hoists herself from the ground and whitens, rising.