Gail Braune Comorat


In their blue room they were consumed
by the orange flames of their love. In an indigo sea
of sleep they were haunted by great orange ghosts.
Only he knew this, only he woke nightly to brilliant cobalts,
to neon aqua light filling their bedroom like sea water,
strange smashed-pumpkin shapes swimming by, some expiring
to the blue floor of their love. He tried taking iPhotos
to show her the debris of desire as it lay gasping
on the azure carpet of their sex life, the fuzz of it
teasing his toes as he sat upon the bed’s blue edge.
Was this some metaphor tapping his bare shoulder, urging him
to confront the discomfort he’d felt since saying love,
to view this landscape of love stained by two disquieting hues
as though some surrealist had painted them into this
blue room to illustrate the limited dimension
of their sex life? Why did those bold brights pry their way
beneath his restless lids? How to explain to her his lack
of sleep, his jittery kisses each morning. In this
blue room he waits sleepless, wanting her
to wake, to witness this war-torn scene, the volcanic
flotsam, the bleeding bodies in free fall,
the orange confusion of intimacy
sleeping at his feet.

Married Life/Not a Love Poem

We’re on the road to Missoula
passing a steel-blue pickup & all I see
is a bicep with a tattoo, no face
but for some reason for the next fifty/sixty/seventy miles
I can’t stop thinking about this guy
whose tattoo I couldn’t even read, what kind of man
might he be (vegetarian/dog lover/musician)
& even though I know the man beside me is steady & true
(together we’ve built a marriage of intimacy & barriers)
I wonder what walls that tattooed man’s erected
& I ponder if his woman has found her way
over or under or through because
that’s what we do, we imagine a man’s perfection (only
to be shocked after the I dos, each of us
with maps of safe/unsafe, what lines can/cannot be crossed)
& I conjure a dream marriage with Tattoo Man
until I hear my man (yes, steady & true but a man
who too often seems hidden behind self-made barricades)—
this man I’ve loved & not liked sometimes is humming along
to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High
in a voice so sure I’m forced to rethink the marriage
with that faceless tattooed guy, convinced now
he’s a hunter, owns ferrets, is tone deaf
& I smile at scenery flashing by, at the showy aspens
& feel smug about what I’ve got
& I can feel the sun burning through the window

Gail Braune Comorat is a founding member of Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild and is a co-author of Walking the Sunken Boards. She serves as an editor for Quartet, an online poetry journal by women fifty and over. Her work has appeared in Gargoyle, Grist, Mudfish, Philadelphia Stories, and The Widows’ Handbook. She lives in Lewes, Delaware.