Featured Poet

Arlene Ang

( Spinea, Italy )


The Car Thief, In Dying, Touches His Face

He curses the girl who called the cops,
how she combed her hair and spoke of unhappiness.
She's looking at him now. She looks
down as if it's her first coffee of the morning.
He's thinking they could've been
watermelon and tequila. Cigarette and gun smoke
soak the road. A bird in the sky inhales
his eyes. He is wearing silk socks,
the same ones he had on when they saw
Westbound, his tongue rolling
in her mouth like a B picture. He's been keeping
his breath in. He takes it out.
It's about time he had a good day.

In the Woods A Shot Fraught with Barking Dogs
sonnenizio on a line from Jean Cassou

Then I lost you, like so many other things,
in the drift. Wine soaks the body of Christ into
sopor. In the half-light, I examine myself
before the mirror. The only true sociopath is

a corpse, you said. I shouldn't drink so
much, but it's not my fault. What's a soul for
if not solitude? You had an unstrung
button on your shirt that day. The soap dish

sewed itself into a coffin of dust. You
drew my attention to the solar plexus: pain
like dying alone or a violin solo. I press
both hands there. Outside, a sober bicycle

sows its shadow into the weeds. Beyond
it, the hole you left, like a soldier, on the ground.

A Portrait of God as Table Wine

It took the Cabernet Franc two nights
to re-create the world. Adam and Eve figure
as flutter: a curtain, potato skins,
sepia photographs curling to black
in the fireplace. Departure. The priest drowns
his bread in wine. He is young.
He is dedicating his life to a blank page.
He is writing: The doctor next door has shot
himself. It's not the first time he vomits
blood and examines it. The glass
slips from his hand. Ink scrapes the floor.
The bottle of Cabernet Franc casts
a church-tower shadow across the table.
He can almost hear it ring. He can
almost feel the children spit his face out.

Next - Michael Boettcher


Current Issue - Winter 2007