“Phi,” by Melissa Green

I could not find the Golden Bowl,
the Golden Bough, a golden wedding band

I never saw the golden lights corona’d in
my children’s hair, for they were not.

I longed to love and wept out a sea’s worth
as decades ticked by, ticked by and I

began to slice my heart and feed upon it
and turn away from every human face.

It happened then so fast, so bitterly:
golden molars in my mouth, a golden-headed cane

and the tinkling brass that passes for gold
on the handles of the cheapest casket I could choose

I wish I’d known before about the Golden Mean,
that my overbrimming heart was a nautilus

and not alone, and had poured love out everywhere
for Fibonacci so long ago had made me his,

and I was part of the world, and known, and loved
to the smallest coral moon on my smallest fingernail.

Melissa Green is consulting editor to Little Star. Search for high and low for her beautiful books, The Squanicook Eclogues, Color Is the Suffering of Light, and Fifty-two. Sign a letter calling for them to be returned to print here. Hear her read at The Ottoman Estate and watch a tribute to her featuring the poet herself and too many luminaries to count here.

We bring you “Phi” as part of our Warm Up Your February series on love.  For more heat, see:

“La Chatte,” by C. K. Williams
“Merit Upon the Riverbank,” by Dennis Saleh
Three poems by Barry Spacks


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One Response to “Phi,” by Melissa Green

  1. Zachary Bos says:

    A gorgeous poem.

    Fortunately, Melissa Green’s book The Squanicook Ecologues is currently available in a reprint edition from The Pen & Anvil Press: http://penandanvil.com/the-squanicook-eclogues-by-melissa-green.html.