Volume 20, Number 3

Say something about the imposition

of order, the la’s and do’s alphabetically,
or by height. Forgiveness,
threaded through burnt or spoiled
meatloaf, nine-year-old sarcasm
on a popsicle stick. Let’s play hangman
in Cyrillic. Let’s cook waffles
on my mid-sized sedan. Let’s write love
letters to Sudanese dry cleaners
and Thai cowgirls.

The world seems more realistic
sitting in the bed
of a pickup. Flies do get stuck
in your hair in a recliner in
the living room—no avoiding that.
But out here: the peach-blue!
And the sorrow-fist! The diet
soft drink half perspired to death all over
the cardboard package
of medical supplies. Apparently,
out here bugs turn into fuzz and reverse that too.

When it’s cloudy the elms don’t shine,
but the spring birds and the hullabaloo,
the wicky-ticky-ticky resemble
a gay pride parade where
the Baptists show up on the right
side for once.

—J.M. Hall