Fall 2010

Volume 5, Issue 2



Dog Days


The lawn
stiff and sharp as though
angry at the hot meagerness
of things; even the sky’s
horrific light.
Splayed bushes, insects, dust.
Lust laid waste.
But from this spent soil -
or some other place
of richer loam, of wet leaves,
sharp smell of rain - words,
finally, like lost art
in the telling.





As though only the idea remains.
The rocks gone, and the pools,
beneath their burden of sand,
calcified brittle bodies.
Sea urchins, slivers
of bone and shell,
silvered scales of dead fish.
Words tossed on waves.
Gulls’ cries fade
and the face of a dead father,
mother still, silent,
soon nothing left to regret.
Bland spread of beach.



Just Another Star-Free Night


It seems the stars all moved
to some boxcar town in Kansas -
corn you can drown in,
rain like thunder-falls, a giant slide.

Mold in the toes of trees.
No. Been there, done that.
Back then it was called Iowa
but that was someone else's life.

It was when he said I should be
a doctor’s wife and I said
hell no, baby, I need to be.
So when my brother flipped out
called me on aluminum foil or so he said.
We rode our bikes
through gritty crotch valleys
that spawned green humps, leaves,
a two-man tent in a firefight,
lightning like Fourth of July star-clusters.
I tried to explain. I am not a body
of water though, that thought.
The smooth surface of it.
Glass, then layers of dark sediment
you try to put a ribbon around -
until you reach the flesh of things.



Order The Mysteries of Fishing and Flight, a poetry collection by Jacqueline K. Powers here.



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