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Chaste Octaves

written by: Iris Orpi

@irisorpi

 

I understand desire
a little better
when I sing it a capella

when I put it to my lips
like the hand of inspiration
instead of an aching emptiness
or a need that can burn
hotter than reason

so I can approach each longing
like a natural crescendo that
did not arrive unannounced
but left a lipstick stain
on the rim of each stanza

and trace the arch
of each bridge with
the same voice that speaks
when negotiating a dream
and can stand naked
without succumbing to
the cold and unchangeability
of a closed chapter,
a sealed goodbye

the swallowed craving
antipasti for the senses
gaining wisdom
in the parsing of hunger
and the elegant way it breaks
into sweet notes
next to the G-clef,

the center of my flesh
the altar where mastery
marries reverence

an intuitive synchronicity

and a repeating chorus:
it’s not the forbidden
that makes you a sinner

you are the melody,
you are the melody

the hands that did not
touch the keys
nor pluck the strings

the perfected lyrics
like curling smoke
against the unadorned
white walls of silence

Iris Orpi

Iris Orpi

Iris Orpi is a Filipina writer living in Chicago. She is the author of The Espresso Effect and Cognac for the Soul.
Iris Orpi

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