Ann Arbor Review
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Ann Arbor Review
is an independent
International Journal & ezine
Copyright (c) 2017
AAR history note: in print 1967 - 1980. Irregular publications 1980 - 2004. As ezine 2004 - present. Most of 48 years all together....
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NOT SLEEPING THROUGH IT
As if to chat, satin palominos stretch their glistening necks across broken fence rails in an overgrown pasture.
My gaze, when it turns to an empty coffee cup’s bottom, finds its blackened cracks resemble my face’s age.
I’m not sure what to say. My vision’s been paralyzed.
Bats my swollen skull infatuates lick my earlobes for mosquito-quick draws of blood.
Night hangs around in undershorts and t-shirt. Sports a beer in its left hand with drunken stars dribbling down its hairy sky. Lusts sucking milk from the nipple a telephoto lens unexpectedly blurs into perfect focus.
Walks people backwards to their beds, yanking a body-bag’s magnetic stainless zipper up over each one of their thoughtless heads.
Listens beyond a slight chaffing of sheets to escaped skin cells dropping to the floor and without even knowing they’re still alive, breathes in and out their own gradually perfected silence.
ALWAYS ONE OF THESE
Where a suntanned moon snapped-in-half like a Compazine tablet slips under the
horizon’s tongue, a barred owl’s eyes circle twin stars in the darkening sky.
A low moan to night’s silence sounds through the high winds tuning a discarded soda bottle’s mud-caked mouth.
Stars blink open.
Floating over the surface of our face, dark clouds make it that much harder to see where we’re seated at the sun’s center closed so tight behind our eyes.
No one denies our orbit’s a dirty flush of water down a brown-stained toilet.
No one denies that with any luck it will one day back-up and out of our mouths vomit a welcoming light instead of so much littered space.
But for now, only those asking how there must be something greater to this life, concern us with what alternatives they have to offer.
A PREPOSTEROUS ALONENESS
Before involving anyone in their lives, those who are alone separate themselves from us at birth.
Not so hard to understand.
Isn’t the rain that stones, ponds and leaves make sing silent if there’s no bottom to its fall, no touching anything at all?
Doesn’t its mud sloughing off an overturned rock eventually crumble to dust in the web lightning spreads between the skeletal reach of a raccoon’s paw?
Doesn’t a yellow butterfly open and close its grey freckled wings around a raindrop clinging to a forefinger’s knuckle?
And time leap into each of these motions where another raindrop, wetting a mere pebble, believes it’s a river?
MOVING FROM THEN TO NOW
Detached from everything but my mistakes, no longer the creation of any entity
worshipped or emulated, my life spikes with the same red-orange stubble a removed peach pit leaves behind in its flesh.
Between shore and forest, pebbles sleep on empty stomachs at the feet of unsung crickets.
Unzipped tent doors flap open in high winds. Dented gas cans, when punctured, suck air and birth flammable rabbits. Old men swat fly shadows behind barred sanitarium windows.
Although I’m unable to strum the ribbed red stockings grasshoppers wear on their back legs, it doesn’t mean I can’t feel the saliva that a squirrel’s left on a half-gnawed hickory nut evaporate off my fingertips.
A new moon edging below oak treetops, slicing the horizon where a whippoorwill’s
nervous song expands, tries lengthening its light across the lake from me to as far as my own barefeet can be reached.
Looking back, for even a moment, stumbles me forward.
Paul B Roth, Fayetteville, New York
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