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Delight and Desire
by Maralee Gerke

I walk along the poetry
section of the bookstore, running
my fingers along the spines of volumes
filled with the inspiration of varied muses.
I pull a slender book from the shelf,
Why I Rise Early by Mary Oliver.

My heart beats faster, and my breath quickens.
I caress the silky covers that contain her heart,
turn pages inhaling the scent of pine, salt water, and bracken.
I want to name her discoveries, join her invented dance,
and answer unasked questions.

I balance on the edge of her world,
a woods and shore I have never walked.
Soar on a paper wind, and look down from
a cloud of words into the hurricane
of thoughts that flow from her reality to mine.

I gulp them raw like oysters and lick
them thin, a child with an all day sucker.
Like a scavenging gull, I pick up
a white feather and tuck it between
the slick pages with trembling fingers.

Crossing the line between delight and desire,
I immerse myself in the grammar of her ecology.


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