The Markets of Remorse

I have spent another morning in the markets
of remorse trying to buy back a single afternoon

I search by the scent of her in September, her distance, her harbor

All I find among reflecting pools is
the eleventh day of our seventh year, and, then, that
is disturbed. Why would
blind feet take from me all that was left
to me

How did she become my Genesis. There were Jerusalems
before her, skin
diaphanous, pink transgressions and brooding
cupolas, inverted bowls
of gold, bowls
of bone; sunlight rearranging
expectations of stone, personifying, passing
over, leaving shadows the size and chill
of footsteps

white, its purpose, its challenge, the wisdom
and strategy of silk
embroidered with silk

a blouse, its curtain, its serene, sudden suggestion

I surrender each coin. I surrender face up:

I want that moment back. I would hurt
myself against the twin idols of her
knees to crack this

this same lean

poet and denouement

this confluence of blood

the glow of the hive to the bee

blue and open moutherd to the sea

veiled as I am between stands and sleep

this transhumance of her

the one she promised would be there

The Markets of Remorse [#25]
© 2007 Fammerée

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To experience a performance of Markets of Remorse
featuring guest artist Li-Young Lee
please visit:
and listen to selection #10.

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Richard Fammerée

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Photograph by Susan Aurinko

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Imago Undisturbed

Most familiar face, cushioned in folds, blinking
enough to carry upon my breast, gold
clothed, into the dark
regions (she breathes; I imagine that breath
in my mouth), ankle patterned
with fleurs-de-lis, bent as a neck of a swan, one
green leather shoe dangling

The white of her
throat alarmed me: Daphne

Globes of fruit, too round
to touch, more perfect

than sweet (impeding
our first
barefoot pressed
violets, narcissus and frockenberries
to feed us--lantern-long

lips, all in
a honeycomb of dense shadow and intense

Horses hailed us, May-browned
guardians of the green

fallow drawing rings

of fecund

light. We called
to them,
neighing, feigning

Minoan indolence.
She offered a pink

and pearl-contoured
Now, I began to examine
the irregularities

of her face, alarmed
with any
for example:
creases of her forehead
(deeply incised); a venule at the tip
of the nose; a


All my disappointments
settled there--upon her face. As her left

fell, abandoned
to the hollow of a wall, as her

hair flushed my face, I
retreated further, wrapped
twice in the tunic of all my

She proffered sorrel
to my lips until her hand was

empty and pink again, pink again.
Sorrel, help me
to forget.
I knelt

to our fingertips.
Lips bled milk at the slightest


Breathless and blouseless, the barque
of her

carried us.

Familial faces converged,
forming the suggestion
of features,

a green name, a wing, an open

Breast to breast we wed with no other witness
than the story written

forever upon us.

This faint stain is blood from her
lip. I wear it when I walk before
the sky.

I have seen her since--crowned in a pink
and burnished tempera; turn
distractedly, smooth
the paper of a package upon her
lap; sleep,
one hand abandoned, one white hand
touching hair from her cheek

Imago Undisturbed [#24]
© 2009 Fammerée

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Richard Fammerée

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Photograph by Susan Aurinko

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Le défaut de la cuirasse (The Failing of the Armor)

Rebecca is sadder than her spoon. It stirs
and stirs,
but nothing changes and nothing turns
to silver.
Her ring is no longer
the rim of a chalice--its stone is not her

I recognize the low cluck, click, cluck of her
heels and a child.
I know each finger holding the horn
of the receiver and the toes that slip
a slim shoe
free. She sips, married to another handsome,
uncoordinated man, intoxicated with
She wants to be pregnant again.

In Normandy, where children of our
children's children chase and seek,
our obsidian remains are obscure
but threaded to roots

as trinkets to a chain. We rise and rive through
any lapse of stone, bone, mouth
of bone to the oak and bramble apse
of our innocence. Her cloak was conifer,
her crown a choir of antlers and branches.
Her chest dictated the rising and fall of all
things, and water became blood
in the font of her.

Can the priest pretend her body was not
the plan of his cathedral?

Can I pretend her body is not my cathedral?

I have waited through successive deaths.
I have waited until my shoulder hurts;
and autumn makes me anxious.
Trees pretend to root into the humid soil of
heaven. They are confused without their
We are all confused.

Do not fear this failing of the armor.

We no longer need tombs to shelter us.

However exquisite a chrysalis, no effigy can
contain a soul's
desire. Yesterday, as you introduced
yourself, you lingered
at my sleeve. Teach me to awaken

Le défaut de la cuirasse [#23]
© 2009 Fammerée

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Richard Fammerée

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Photograph by Susan Aurinko

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