Jennifer Kwon Dobbs


I remain in your leave-taking
like the mandolin’s note. Long and lingering
perfume of petals enfolds my body
because you desired me in a red
aura of candles, then clouded by
your palms seeking my origins in cities
you traveled in search of Lorca
finding sandalwood uncurling
like a ghost in a room darkened by blinds.
Above the bright shouts of women bargaining for meat,
we stole from one another silver and pearls,
demanded retribution in bracelets.
May the bruised jewels your lips left me
last the length of your absence.
Will you ask to see me again so adorned?
Or will you bring saffron to stain our bed orange?

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
“Red” is from Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press 2007).