Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 1 , July 2015


This is the Suitcase

Lynne Arjava

  This is the suitcase. 
  This is the owner. 
  There goes their flight now 
  to Barcelona. 
  Inside the owner 
  inside the airplane 
  forty-four years 
  of solitude pain, 
  forty-four years 
  of fruitless waiting, 
  and ten love-long months 
  internet dating. 
  Inside the suitcase 
  inside the cargo bay 
  two Carmelite nuns 
  kneel in panties and pray. 
  A virgin mermaid 
  with pink sea-rose breasts 
  pats a lean kelpie 
  that restlessly rests. 
  This heart’s hoping big, 
  this heart’s fearing farce. 
  Twenty-three kilos, 
  economy class. 
  This is the suitcase. 
  This is the owner. 
  Here comes their flight now 
  from Barcelona. 
  Inside the owner 
  in seat 16C 
  two weeks of censored 
  feelings disagree, 
  mocked by the woman 
  who couldn’t be touched 
  by love, by a hand, 
  by anything much. 
  Inside the suitcase 
  in the cargo hold 
  a convent of nuns 
  keep their urges controlled. 
  A tireless kelpie, 
  faithful as sin, 
  stalks them with a gaze 
  and herds them in. 
  A mermaid asleep 
  in a tank of water, 
  sequestered in weeds, 
  hugs her still-born daughter. 
  This is the suitcase 
  back home intact. 
  This is the suitcase 
  that can’t be unpacked. 
  This is the suitcase 
  world without end. 
  This was open-and-shut. 
  And this is Amen.