Three Poems by Amaranth Borsuk
PARABLE IN WHICH ONE WRESTLES A DOUBLE
Muffin, the Dreambook suggested, you
need to move on. The field is something
stretched—someone who needs
protection. Avoid blue and favor auburn.
The lizard (patterned after Grandma’s
sofa) suggests your sweetheart fancies
another. His operation is convenient: a
change that yields easy separation. And
my tears? They’re neither self-
congratulation nor pity, but a reminder:
water what you’ve sown. The brushfire is
that old avoidance. The grass connotes
something outgrown. The corn portends
warmer weather. Your mustache means
friendship: a union of mirrored halves.
It’s time you faced the unknown. So I got
ALLEGORY IN WHICH A GREGARIOUS KNIFE IS BURIED
You must make yourself over, Sugar,
The Dreambook pressed. Mending bricks
denotes energy diverted, eating mustard
repentance, and myrtle blossoms, coming
pleasures. The violets indicate you’ve
met a new person and heather heralds
heartbreak for those you encounter.
Poppies represent partial opportunity,
tread lightly. The river conveys shifting
tastes and love of danger. The oar is
your old self, seeking water, ready to
bend. I’m not that flexible. The nest is a
development you don’t yet see. Timber
means it’s time to cut your losses,
embrace strangeness, prepare for
alteration. So I found a tailor.
APOLOGUE WITH SUBSTITUTIONS IN WHICH A SHIFT IS MADE
The Dreambook said Darling, you’re
making headway. Your dreams have
turned alphabetical. I’m getting
organized. You’re getting lyrical. The
mobile bespeaks mental exertion. Mojitos
warn against seduction, but fear not,
moon-lit petticoats denote a manly
husband. The moths might be small
concerns, absence, or drafts in the
bedroom. Mother means marital bliss or
a trip to the city. To see yourself in
muslin indicates sincerity. Pearls are
purpose, pears a steady stance. Eating
peas suggests good harvest. Now’s the
time for chances, as the pencil signifies.
Select companions carefully. So I put
my book away.
About the Author:
Amaranth Borsuk is a poet and a scholar. She currently teaches in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and in the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Washington, Bothell.