August 17, 2011

she was tall
she was high
she almost touched the sky



Wim Wenders, Lounge Painting, Gila Bend, Arizona

Burning the New Year
--Naomi Shihab Nye

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.


See Under:
--- by Joanna Rawson

There's a word for a beggar who fakes being blind.
Another for amnesia about all events underwater.
For the exact center of gravity in a skyscraper.
Without motive, a bullet whittled from ice
utters murder into a toddler's chest.
The sun makes a pool of water around her body
that will evaporate by noon, a shadow
advertising the precise time of death.
There's a word for a cannon fired from a camel's back.
Another for a rain gauge fueled by the sun.
For anything that lasts all night.
The rumor of a violent stormfront
keeps arriving,
but somewhere else.


Rita's Dream
-- by Kim Addonizio

We're in a bar together
It's dark but there's a mirrored ball
in the middle of the ceiling.
Somebody move the pool table,
it's like a dance floor. Jimmy's
wearing a suit jacket,
the one from our wedding.
Some women from the shelter
are looking for their babies.
One's in the dumpster and everyone goes
outside to look. Then I'm in
the bathroom, a man's in there and tries
to hand me a rat, it's big and dark,
slippery, I won't take it, I run out
to find Jimmy again. We dance
and I smell his cologne and feel safe.
Some kind of fight is happening,
someone says fuck you loud
and then Get away, get away.
But we just keep dancing.
My dad takes our picture and the flash
makes me close my eyes,
and when I open them
Jimmy is looking at me and I know
he loves me, I know
he isn't ever going to stop.

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