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Janet Buck


Sand in motion's hourglass--
low to empty. Tipped,
I shake it. Stretch it out.
A shy, shy breeze is
blowing through a sewer's grate.
Difference comes in licorice ropes;
I vomit at the taste of black.
My kiwi knee is always bruised.
One can't dye a missing limb
to hide a shade of mortal gray.
If I could, I should, I would.
I hang emotion inside out
and upside down like sides of beef:
red meat--not wrapped--
draws flies of eyes with
thighs and sighs.
I rhyme too much and run away.

A coaster for the mugs of tears,
you touch and read my
bleeding stump like Hebrew
with a purpose fire that
brings us closer to our wants.
Others only saw and hated
okra oozing doctor bills.
Baby grand piano pain
on frowning lips of sinking ships.
Insecure was cellulite.
I always sucked my stomach in.
Trimmed crusts off bread.
Passed only smiles.
An angel in revolving doors,
you bring me "kiss me" ICU.
The right, right split of rinds and shells;
we curtsy to a shameful curse.
I hear you whisper "screw the eyes!"
Bark "goodbye" to bones


Peacocks fanned
a fairy tale.
Spread their wings.
Dipped a feather
in our laps.
I've glued it
to the quill of art.
Seagulls standing
on a rock,
we grabbed
what came so naturally:
the glitter off
a crescent moon.

Touché to all
the drawn,
drawn shades
of exit plans
in firm cement.
Goodbye to tears
like acetone
on Cheerios.
The circle here
would stay complete.

I know we shock
the world with bliss.
The smartest crazy
in my life--
we've cracked
the walnut of unloved.
First-degree anathema,
we're sleeveless shirts
in igloos floating
on the ice
and beaver pelts
in winter snow.

Copyright 1999 by Janet Buck

Contributor's Note