Mary Kathryn Jablonski


Black knot, divided like a peach, you crown
my head. We speak in paper-thin lines
from diminutive mouths that open
only half way. Pale moon faces register
full and empty at once: masked in artifice,
tilted out of balance. One sex plays both:
real women are rejected as too real;
the onnagata, the samurai,
esteemed. Each gesture is measured,
choreographed. Our costumes, three layers
of silk, flash crimson linings as we float
like geishas in the water world, barely
leaving imprints where we pass through trapdoors,
down the hanamichi: koi, fanning our
ancient gills, maneuvering in tight arcs
around each other, appearing then disappearing.

Sinus Iridium (Bay of Rainbows)

The elusive bay of rainbows
guarding the island planted with promise,
where light shines through every storm and the bow
is not a weapon but a veil of hope that shimmers
like spun sugar never touching the tongue,

creates again the place where droplets rise
in radiant hues and fuse into a blinding white called stars.

My Next Lover

My next lover will be of a completely
foreign tongue. We won’t assault each other
with consonants or soothe things down with
vowels. I’d never dream of translating for him
or teaching him English: subject-predicate,
past participle, future perfect tense.
Our bliss will exist in the absence
of language, in another language
altogether. We will never read
to one another, labor over poems,
nor shall we talk of fish, birds, moths,
butterflies or bats. Instead, we’ll point at
pictures on glossy pages like children,
make crude drawings with whatever is at
hand. Silence will descend on us like dew,
like darkness. We’ll communicate with eyes
and bodies. He’ll seal my mouth with his palm,
with his mouth, so we can go on hiding.
Perhaps over time from disuse, we’ll
become deaf and mute. All of this will
suit us fine, me and my next lover.

Note: Kabuki was first published as a frontispiece in a book of paintings by Christoph Ruckhäberle titled Porträt (Portrait), Lubok-Verlag, Leipzig, Germany; Sinus Iridium was first published in the Healing Muse; My Next Lover was first published in Home Planet News.

About the Author

Saratoga Springs visual artist & poet Mary Kathryn Jablonski freelances in design and advertising. She is the author of the chapbook To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met, and her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals including the Beloit Poetry Journal, Blueline, Chronogram, Home Planet News, and Salmagundi. She recently completed her first book-length collection of poems and two additional chapbook manuscripts. Her artwork has been widely exhibited throughout the Northeast and is held in private and public collections.

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