Friday, August 11, 2006

two summers

Here's a new feature. Every now and then, interspersed with my regular essays and new poems and the odd picture, I’ll post published poems that can’t be found online, ones that appeared in magazines no longer on newsstands. Thanks to Jordan and David Dodd Lee for the idea.

Originally published in Fugue, number 27, Summer 2004.


Heat turns in its mouth the scissor-hum:
cicadas. Their wings are eye-shaped, gossamer.
The skin they leave is its own creature,

talons curled on the questioning trees.
Behind so many doors are the faces
of sons, shut-ins who sleep until dusk.

The Japanese call them bean sprouts,
and their name for sprouts means: fins
of the field.
Should I take him to a field,

pare the grass with my hand to where
it shoots white from the earth, show him
the fruits of the earth—mushrooms,

spotted, tender as skin? Would he eat
from my skin? Light persists, a white
vein brightening the floor. I will not ask

for entrance. And darkness? What of
darkness? Shutter to hide his passage,
the city set up for reclusion, all-hour

drugstores, delivery, each human figure
a flare against neon. Here, drone becomes
thickest by the river, blight of insect

whose body is born twice, whose song
is not song, now wailing, now mating.
Now it’s dark. No one moves.