OBJECT: Red Rose and Carnations
BODY OF WATER: Dead Horse Bay
Pink wind, cold sun. In this quiet light,
you watch her roam the bay. You produce
a solitary prayer—bodega rose, talisman.
She walks along the bones, ghosts of horses
etched on the frozen sand.
Imagine, you whisper, a coast
filled with yearning birds and her hair.
Wielding her limbs like loosed carnations
as you observe: the flowers drop along the shoreline.
When you retreat homeward, you affirm:
there is nothing in this life you want more
than to please yourself, and at night—sub rosa—
you remove pieces of glass from a lonely jar,
placing them into the auric constellations
you’d like to turn her into
Mary Catherine Kinniburgh is a doctoral student at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where she studies medieval mysticism and imaginative landscapes. When she’s buried deep in the library, she writes poems too. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and four rescue cats.