August 2001 / Volume Two / Issue Two
Janet I. Buck
Salmon Eggs

I'm tired of being the lint tray
for our grief, my cotton, grit
smacked around by quiet tongues,
uneager palms like cobwebs
in old attic dust.  
But dryers spin without my will;
wool adjusts to temperature.
This fabric of absentia
grew me up and beat me down;
you cringe at what a pen turns up.
A sea horse matching reefs we lived,
its curled erection
hanging on to sharp contention,
imprecise exacto knife
determined it can shave
this graying, stubbled beard,
these prickly guests inside the night,
this bubble gum of salted wound.

Emotion's sickly vegetable
in silent steam of beer and wine.
Whiskey, brandy.  Sweet Mimosas
greeting morning holidays--
an easy port in any storm.
Pun, an unintended thing;
same with flagellating voice.
My dream, of course,
to see you curse and cry
a real waterfall that breaks
the ancient rock of ghost.  
I hand you pinkish salmon eggs
in tender nipples of a tear.
Swam upstream to place
them in your wadded fist.
"I had a happy childhood"
was all you said
(seven little syllables)
between the rivers of the swigs
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