3 poems by Lauren Hilger

Seat of the Soul by Katherine Minott
   Seat of the Soul by Katherine Minott

Elegant

he is underwater
walking with you

he touches you and in each one you fall out of yourself

woman from the mountain
woman in borrowed shoes

and the shaky name of somewhere else

you’re writing on his shoulder

you finally
resemble
all the chandeliers
 
 
Trieste-Zurich-Paris

Every renegado sad and civil in a suit.

The cities are shoes worn
writing while walking.

The italics silverblue.
You filled notebooks with their vowel breath

and it unravels a feeling
close to whaling.

Touching someone else’s
spins your umbrella perfect.

You balance a cappuccino of yore on your knee
and keep a lock of my hair in Goethe,
childish, a blue ribbon.

Take your hat when you go.
Take your cigarettes hard to the heel
of your hand.

When you finish your great novel
each city italicized has the feel of seafoam,

the final lapping, as if the ocean were done,
you’ve hit the shore.
 
 
The African Queen (1951)

I didn’t have a lamp I didn’t think
would burn the place down then.

I held back, no, was held, but very fast
as in a carriage riding all over Russia.

I could reach you as if
you were here. I could build my body

up buddleia, get the best wings
over me. Toss my hat off the boat

when you laugh like that,
like a bonfire in a cave.

That you loved my Intimissimi
with a look of the jeweler’s window

lit by electricity, long as an Alfons Mucha,
draped as a lithographed woman,

both directions, a sheath of reasons,
proud, perfect, pin-up, architectural

as Christopher Smart’s cat—fine
admit what electrical skin meant in 1758.