By Louise Moises
Mahogany, African Mahogany: durable hard wood,
interlocking grains, deep, dark brown
of Africa, lathe-turned, polished to perfection, harmony
of line, balance of geometry,
solid cubes and holed-octahedrons positioned on point,
like dancers on toes.
Mahogany, African Mahogany: hand-picked, precious
wood of the motherland,
sawed into seven pieces, penciled outlines of futures,
much to scrape away, hours of labor,
meditation with tools, sawdust in piles. Reminder of my
father, he too worked in wood.
Mahogany, African Mahogany: whispered tales of
ancestors, you balanced
between worlds. Rough wood carved to precise measured
stacked, aligned, linked with arcs, hallowed spaces,
surfaces sanded to smooth sheen.
Mahogany, African Mahogany: how many pieces cracked
under pressure, splintered,
broke apart, before you achieved perfection? You stood,
back bent, hands cramped,
chiseled and turned, chiseled and turned, hum of lathe,
fragments flying, perfume of wood.
Mahogany, African Mahogany: small white label:
do not touch. I yearn to rub fingers
over smooth surfaces, feel curvature of emptiness,
embrace sharp corners,
gaze through holes to see your face, thump floor, dance
around your balanced world.
Mahogany, African Mahogany. In your meticulous
creation, even connecting screws
line up like soldiers. In your world of order and
symmetry, harmony of forms,
I know, I could never please you. I know, I could never
About Louise Moises
Louise Moises' work has been published by High Shelf Press, Write Launch, Unlimited Literature, and others. Her poems and short stories have received awards from the literary divisions of the San Mateo, Marin, and Alameda County Fairs, as well as by Bay Area Poets Coalition (BAPC), Ina Coolbrith Circle, and Artist Embassy International.