Carole Greenfield

Angular Unconformity, Luster, Rain Shadow, Wrapped: Carole Greenfield

Angular Unconformity

The counterpane set in its ways,
tag must go at bottom right or else the pattern’s
not in place, and (everyone knows) the pattern
must be in its place, even if (especially if) everything else
in life is not

flowering vines, clambering leaves
run up and down as nature intended (even if I don’t)
even if my heart yearns away from how it has been tied
(up) and trained (up right)

reaching toward a different sun (a private light),
you who held and warmed it back to living (to life)

I smooth wrinkles from sheets and pillowcases,
images of your face brightening at the sight
of mine not so lightly put back to bed

where our dreaming selves find their path
to one another, entwining as leaves and petals
encircle the bedspread my husband and I curl up
under night after night, after long quiet night

while in me you (by now perhaps transplanted)
run deeper than you know, hints still lingering,
clinging to a finger put inside each morning

and drawn out to sniff and savor,
wishing it were you, flavored lips
against skin, murmuring yes, this is just the way
I knew you would, just the way I knew you
just the way I knew

Angular unconformity: an unconformity at which the bedding of rocks above and below is oriented differently.


This time, it will last, the gift
of your smile, the cello thrum
of your voice, the smooth, sweet
linen of your skin.

This time, I will weave bright strands
of your touch into a silvered scroll: winter birds
and bamboo shoots, a span of mist-shrouded bridge
across an unseen river

With poems inked out in strokes swift and bold,
the way you moved within me when I closed my eyes
and the light spread outward from my center, coating
us until we shimmered in the darkness.

luster: the surface sheen exhibited by a mineral

Rain Shadow

I like scraping lint off the mesh catcher, removing still-warm towels,
sheets, bringing them to my face to breathe the heat, faint sweet smell, folding them
well in thirds the way my ex-boyfriend taught me. I left him fifteen
years ago and his influence still lingers, tingeing the way I go
about my business, my weekly routines, my daily rituals. How
we continue to practice what the people we no longer live with
wanted when they loved us, when we loved them. I still place the knives edge up
the way my first husband did (still does for all I know). My second one
taught me to put things in the sun to cure, bleach off bad smells, drive away
all signs of sin. Maybe I should put myself there for an entire day,
burn away all my impurities, leave behind nothing but a dried-
up husk, all my juicy, pulpy, seedy, crunchy sweetness smothered out.

Rain shadow:  a dry zone landward of a coastal mountain range that is caused by loss of moisture from air passing over mountains


Brittle-stringed leaves wrapping round, around, slow revolve on your turntable.
So many loving names we had in the time of our entanglement,
our lives our blood our breath entwining as limbs of lovers do, the way
ours have not yet, maybe never will, the way my husband wraps his tense-
muscled legs over and under mine, toes reaching for my chilled feet each
time I come back to bed. We go deep into one another. Our roots
push down. Your deft-fingered words tie me into new knots, enwrap my heart,
enrapture and undo me. The time for unwinding is not here, is not yet, is not now.


Carole Greenfield was raised in Colombia and now lives in New England. Her work has appeared in Red Dancefloor, Gulfstream, The Sow’s Ear, Women’s Words: Resolution, Arc, and is forthcoming in The Eunoia Review.