September 2002 / Volume Three / Issue One
Janet I. Buck
Harping on the String-less Wood

I need to understand this scowl.
Effort trips upon its curve.
Where and how and why and when
did sugared moons dissolve
in tiny swatted flies?
Cutting eyes that go so deep.
Quibbling that brews like tea
then seizes caringís ivory throat,
snaps it with a single word.
Iím harping now on string-less wood
I thought would be an orchestra.
I hand you food; you shake your head.
A rose we might have split and shared
is stewing out of nostril range.
I baby-sat your bitterness.
Changed its diapers with a tear.
We pushed and pulled so many times
twenty cuticles are sore.

Your lips stay pointing arrows down.
I licked mirage of lighter strokes.
Of tenderness, of lavender.
Fear so high it shamed a glimpse of EverestĖ
the chill, contagious poison oak.
I dig for clues in what you say,
see your pain is still alive,
breathing its demonic fire.
I was there but now Iím gone
like hammers smash a hazelnut.
Was it Motherís branding ice?
Dry baguettes of Daddyís arms?
Sealing starchy envelopes
before I had a chance
to buff these bunions of the past.
I feel like a paper cup
that rips its seams and burns the world
with orgies of a hurt reply.
Morning turns to firm eclipse.
We shot for suns.  We sat in rain.
Grieving spoons are trembling.
Return to September 2002