The art of you equals imperfection,
cathedral of blistered hands, tattooed arms
of blue & red & green. On your hands
I would write pages of thunder, a catalog
of stars. I would draw the shape of listening.
To be more than just a cameo in your life,
a constant vacation of the blue glass
of the ocean, a string of glasses of bourbon
& ice. Tonight from my window the sky
is a wall of rose & tangerine. Another night
it will be. I want to bend dark roads
in your Volkswagen. I want to be shown more
than an answer. I want to be kissed, like this.
How I Am Coping in Quarantine
How much longer will this last, April advent falling
onto pharmacy roofs, attic windows, a lilac bush planted
too close to the road. Someone, somewhere runs to the car
in a black mackintosh, Tanqueray brown-bagged & cradled
in their slick arms. I’m dry in my kingdom of cotton, white
sheets brilliant in their ordinariness, lips painted purple
from the cabernet. Linen curtains breathe like a moon tide
in the television glow as I wait for the phone to ring, a trill,
your voice coming from a different bed in a different city.
Suppose instead I were the nicotine upon your tongue,
the whiskey on your nightstand, Van Morrison singing a fever
on the record player, your room candlelit & warm—how the days
get stacked one upon the other, how I wait for them to fall.
Love in the Time of Corona
Believe me, I’m cut open by hunger
each evening we’re apart, quarantined
in different states, the crests of the waves
bleached & breathing. Your orange cat
soaks in the sun while you read Frank Stanford:
this is how I imagine you when I’m in the tub—
lavender bath bomb fizz, Zinfandel, Celine
on the stereo. Melancholia drips from the faucet
into the ocean I lie in. The wisteria on Buford has bloomed
& climbs the telephone pole higher each day.
Ten pm has become my favorite time,
when you call you say this will be over soon.
Soon in hours? Soon in months? Soon the moon
will expand its lungs, its waxing gibbous light
still shining down on me, still shining down on you.
In the morning the woman folds down
the man’s collar and watches him
walk out the door. The door clicks
shut. The body gets locked into the bed.
The bed is the key. The bed smells like the man
but the man is gone. The upstairs neighbor
takes a shower. Dirty water follows
the line in the wall. The mirror follows
the line of the body. The mirror hands
next to the bed. The woman hands
a sheet over the mirror. She wants out
of this body, the body the man touched,
the body the man no longer wants to touch.
Mac Campbell received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was Poetry Editor for The Greensboro Review. Her recent work appears in Cimarron Review and Red Rock Review. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.