Joy Leftow



Simmering sun
Suspended at the world’s edge
smooth as gilded iridescent silk
On la montanas de Isla Mujeres
Staring at Mexico’s sun set behind her
Like a man behind a woman
he sits behind her mainland

The sea glistening with day’s last rays
flamboyant neon colors
slowly sinking from view
An immense fluorescent ball
Radiant orange, scintillating fuchsia
like my tunic of cross woven silk

We savor the hues with delight
feast upon this sight tonight
It will never be this again,
not exactly like this moment
in time with each other even if
we were together again watching
another luminous setting sun ...

Beseeched by his eyes
Absorbing the sun’s ripening glow
before mellowing occurs
And all is gone


Sweetheart says Listen baby, it's ok you don’t rhyme in your poetry
because when we talk you rhyme naturally… strange as it sounds it’s true
I figure I should rhyme and I would rhyme if I had the time to rhyme,
I’d learn to make up all those rhymes
People keep expecting me to get in line with the times
People keep complaining about my lack of rhyming
My natural incline is to unwind ~ to tell you a story
Imagine expecting me to rhyme my poetry
Addiction is the prison for my soul
Fed upon viciously by mosquitoes and flies
We ate voraciously all the lies fed to me & him deep within
I spit out the hate inside both for me & him
It’s not something I care to imbibe & live with
You’re one of those people who naturally rhyme all the time but it’s not a crime
if I don’t rhyme, I don’t have to do what you do all the time
I have the rhythm of my soul I dance to my inner drumbeat
I dance without rhyme or reason
I dance to my inner heat
I feel the earth move beneath my feet
Stirring my breath into my beat
Clear my mind of mosquitoes and flies
Make my attempt to live up to society but mostly
Get down with it in one clean sweep
I’ve left behind the winter of my malcontent
Would you be disappointed if I didn’t say what I meant to say
Or if I didn’t do what I wanted to do or do what I chose to do
Thank you for your sentiments
I’m tired of Anglos and sighs
Would you be disappointed if instead I did what everyone else asked me to do
People of so many sizes colors and shapes
You could run into another Ciera or Emily
That will be it for me
From my head to my toes, I move to my own beat
There are no more yesterdays or tomorrows,
only todays and nows
I wasn’t born to be a follower
I dance to my own drumbeat
Feel the heat of my beat
Follow the steps of my feet
I wasn’t born to be tomorrow
I dance to the music in my head
my mind follows the rhythm from my head to my feet
I dance to the rhythm of my own drumbeat


This is the snowstorm where we began our nights of love and sex
Holding hands cuddling reading our poetry watching the sun set
The winter storm of our content began that snow filled eve
That was the first night I refused to leave you
When our lovemaking was done I fell into a snowflake slumber
That I knew couldn’t last, time had moved too fast
The call came at midnight I lay beside you in bed,
Snuggled to your back, my arm flung about your waist,
I sat up & drew away from you to speak
Clearly replied I was spending the night with my lover
I couldn’t leave your side wouldn’t leave
Even though I spent a sleepless night
I stayed with you to hide away from old love had died
Awake throughout the snow filled night
I refused to go home
I shut off my phone
No more unwanted calls
I waited patiently for morning to come
And for you to awaken from your peaceful sleep
Where beside you I had taken root in your bed
It didn’t matter what the world said
I wouldn’t heed what anyone would tell me anyway

“Poet Laureate” of Washington Heights, Leftow is a double alumna at Columbia University and has her second Masters from CCNY in Creative Writing. Joy’s style is - in your face reality. When Joy is not busy doing people & cat rescues, she meets her muse & reflects on relationships with more sarcasm than you’d get in an entire season of Seinfeld.

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