Shall We Dance
Missy had prodigious aspirations for me and I counted the ticks of her grandfather clock. This got me into a heap of trouble and I hated to be scolded, especially since I was paid by the hour. Missy was married and lonely. Her husband messed around with junk bonds or depressed assets. It kept Missy in mink and Picassos on the walls. The place smacked of good breeding or, at least, had a sharp interior decorator. Trendy made way for style, right down to the snazziest lampshades. She had a chauffeur, a personal masseuse, “a …Read article
Holding on to the Past
Only two surviving blood-line aunts,
two different bloodlines, one German,
one French and Irish. Both the youngest
left to care for aging parent, both finding
in the past only complaint. One fathered
by failed farmer, failed store-owner,
fiery evangelist, the other town-reared,
depression poor, and last of the brood,
too poor for college by her turn,
her household headed (shocking then)
by divorcing mother, divorcing aunt.
My legacy is a soil mixed
of piety and rebellion.
Most everything blows away here,
and we are only now learning
to dwell on our collective past.…
You came home at night
with resigned sighs
and an empty wallet.
I always prayed back then,
hoping that you’d find happiness
in the darkest corners of yourself.
You were the only god I knew.
At night you traced my skin
with soft fingertips
and called me a goddess,
but only when you thought
that I was sleeping.
Awake, you stomped
across gravel laden sidewalks
until your shoes were filled with pebbles
harder than the anger
in your gut. You searched
among the empty bottles
of wine and liquor stacked on the island
in the kitchen, and …
by Stephen Mead
Throughout us go curves:
All nerves & electrical cells, all
Brushfire fiber cleaving muscle
To bone. Tissues too are tactile
As they pour
Pore to pore.
Breathing this creates pulses of iron,
The ore of blue metal gunning for blacksmiths,
The smoky compressions between horse shoes,
Brandings & other such marks of trade.
Is the heat of flanks steaming?
Is oil teeming in streams?
Is char spilling away clean
From the sparks & the rubbing
That winds our machinery’s clockwork?
Slipping down, glowing, mist cooling
From what smoldered, our spirit’s loins
Stretch wider, glide as no …