Jewel Tones

Beneath the surface of any river

is a gentleness near the bottom.

That’s what she has in her,

and when I drink it down,

it hangs like a lump of amethyst

in my throat, rolls down my cheeks

like streams of emeralds and rubies.

She stands deep in the currents,

hands me her words—stones

worn smooth from consideration.

This must be another world—

such colors! I am going to build

a house for us here. But each time

I set down a rock on the pile,

it becomes another plum turned

ripe in the warmth of autumn.

She tells me to eat, then washes

the rivulets from my chin. I am

still thirsty for tenderness, I tell her,

and she reaches down again, looks

into my face, hands me another stone.

Cameron Alexander Lawrence's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in West Branch, TYPO, Forklift, Ohio; Whiskey Island, Image, Asheville Poetry Review, and elsewhere. A native Arizonan, Cameron now lives in Decatur, GA, with his wife and four children.