p o e m s

2-1threepoems.gif (1469 bytes)

Heather Burns

cleaning up after ourselves


No tourniquet will stifle the pulse we share,
No effect will free the flutterbug
In the veins unless stars fall between us,
Through the dock, and scorch the water below.

Color the texture of butter
Packed into the spaces between the gills,
Sheen of metal in the full fish
Basket blinds market strollers
So they never guess what was responsible
For the sabotage.

Our conflicts will result in starvation.
It is widely known that you risk
Everything and jump wet
Into the grain pile with both feet.
My stomach is lined with the same
Knotted seaweed that runs
Out of my limbs and from my ears.
Sand fleas surface to gather around
And re-burrow.

Some darkness is necessary
For planets to know where they are
As they go from side to side dodging
The lovers who walk the evening.
Waiting on the steamy pier,
A flightless circumstance pecks
At an open-throated tuna.

Jealous gulls watch us eat
Our last meal in silence, and dive
For the skeletons left on the plates
When we've finished.
You go back to rinsing yourself off
And I continue to scrub at the chalk
Outline of a mermaid on the brick service road.


here.JPG (528 bytes)


contents download subscribe archive