Two Poems by Maggie Evans

Cento: For Our Mother

come live with me and be my love
come live with me and be my love

come live with me and be my love
had we but world enough and time

come live with me and be my love
stone walls stone walls stone walls you know

stone walls do not a prison
black black black is the color of

black black is the color of my true love’s hair
black black my mistress’ eyes

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Variations on How Not to Need Someone

Keep your eyes wide open, love.
When you close them, close them

tight. Do not feel names in your mouth.

Build a doorless tower, love, where hands may bring
the comfort of the lizard to the rock. Make

a mattress of your hair.
Learn to take it
or leave it.

Make your cheeks into apples, or cherries
or grapes– or apples.

(Like the apple, they have flawless circles
of peel. Like the apple, they cannot be bitten.)
Do not let them be bitten.

You can keep out, my love. Defend
your separate face. You can marshal
and marshal and marshal resistance.

But come, love, come–
hold your enemies closer.

Unbutton this double-breasted
raincoat skin and wrap its khaki wings tight.

Your Death-of-Cold wants so badly to catch you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maggie Evans Maggie Evans

Maggie was born-and-raised (one word, please) in East Texas. She currently attends the University of Oregon, where she is an instructor and a doctoral candidate with an emphasis in Poetry & Poetics.

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