Ruth Bavetta’s poems have appeared in Rattle, North American Review, Nimrod, Rhino, Slant, Tar River Review, Atlanta Review and many others, and are included in several anthologies. Her books include Flour, Water, Salt and Fugitive Pigments, (FutureCycle), Embers on the Stairs (Moon Tide), and No Longer at This Address (Aldrich). She loves light of November afternoons, the music of Stravinsky and the smell of the ocean. She hates pretense, fundamentalism and sauerkraut.
I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.
― William Stafford
The clock never chimes seven. Sundown
seeps from heavens to horizon.
The teakettle’s misplaced its song,
succor runs dry as an empty cup.
Songbirds lost to the sky, doves, mockingbirds
and the one forever undiscovered.
The photograph of our wedding day,
colors smeared into the background trees.
The contracture of my husband’s crippled fingers,
as he lies sleeping in the singing heat.
Years ago, we flew to Paris, hauled our luggage
with the broken wheel around the corners of happiness.
How many days did it take to arrive here?
A grayfly crawls up the wall, slower than summer.
Nomenclature of Desire
The name of the lily
is the name I had before
I was born. Before white,
before red, before the moon
carved itself into one thin hair.
The name of the sea
is salt and spray
and flat blue under pale.
My lover’s name is written
on my palm. The name
of the grass is always.