Elizabeth Kirkpatrick-Vrenios

Two Poems

Sarah Vaughn, Where are You?

O velvet throat, magnifico Toblerone
with ebony ink and crowberry swart,
with a clinging and winging in the occipital bone,
you tease the dark wool of the heart.

With misty ink and hot pot swart,
You are a wooer come to coo.
O ample wool swoop of the heart
you are more than midnight’s mere blue,

more than a toe-clenching swanky woo.
O smoky sound, profound, you are more than melody
and midnight’s merely blue, for you, you, you
on your quivered, shivered, kitten up a tree

smoke through my hat and my glove’s harmony
I feel that prickle in the occipital bone,
grateful for the shiver of your spiraled melody,
O noble throat, sweeter than Toblerone.

Front entry walk to the Sterling A. Brown house. Photo by Margaret Corum.

Unbuttoned blues

Words once said
ain’ gonna fit that jar no more.
Words once said
ain’ gonna fit that jar no more.
That honey ain’ pure
That honey ain’ pure for sure.

Honey can’t spread
when down-dirty words are said.
I said, Honey – love can’t spread
when those low,
low-life words are said.
You can’t spread those shards of lies
on your morning bread.

Lies too big
ain’ gonna fit that old jar.
Your lies are too big,
and ain’ gonna fit that same old jar.
I’s too full of tricks
to carry you far.

A body unbuttoned
can’t be sewed up again.
I said a body unbuttoned
can’t be sewed up again.
There ain’ no way that split
can be sewed with spoken thread.

Those unbuttoned lies you say
no holy water will wash away.

Child –Those deeds once done
don’t fit no more
I said that damned ole jar
don’ store no more.
All you got, girl, is dust of stars
this dust that we don’ trust for sure

just scattered, tattered
unbuttoned trust.

That damned ole jar
is full of tears.
No matter how you cry and wail,
you can’t wash away the years
There ain’ no way that spilt words
won’ leave no stain.

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick-Vrenios has been featured in Hollins Critic, Kentucky Review, Folliate Oak, Unsplendid and The Edison Review. Her prize-winning chapbook, Special Delivery, written about the loss of her son on the Pan Am 103 Flight, was published by Yellow Chair Press in 2016. She is a Professor Emerita from American University, and has spent most of her life performing as a singing artist across Europe and the United States.