Where are you lover,
hot skin, soft lips, giving and
taking until I

forget the cold rain outside?
Have I frightened you away?

Your tears like acid,
your silence, like a caul, and
yet you call to me.

You move me in your stillness.
You sing strongest in whispers.

Teacher, lover, man
of deep mystery, do you
know you shine? I fear

that you have nothing to say.
Your silence overwhelms me.

Breath and base instincts
revealed, you leave me naked
to your knowing, which

I welcome. Come to me. Come
into my arms. Say nothing.


Sheryl Mebane earned a minor in creative
writing at UNC-Chapel Hill. She was awarded a
fellowship by Pearl Street Publishing, which
published her jazz novel Lady Bird. Her
drumming and compositions have been recorded
on three jazz CDs. She has a doctorate in
physical chemistry, has taught green chemistry
and works as a science translator.
FIRST
PLACE
GeminiMAGAZINE
2012
POETRY
OPEN
$1,000 PRIZE
by Sheryl Mebane
RENGA FOR AN
ABSENT LOVER