in a blues procession, south of the dirty south moon.
The women wore bandannas and shiny buckles, unfastened.
We ate meals of sautéed musk, turtle, Prozac, and milk of ____.
In the background, muzak played Pride & Prejudice: The Game.
Only circles, withdrawn from drawn water, seemed strange.
The rest—the clear morning, the witch-grass--
I drank with alacrity. What I could not drink--
(possession and the practice cage)--
was no cause for tears. It was back to yesterday—to reading
Moby-Dick at 30,000 feet— to things that never happen.
He whispered it a few times—naughty— and it sounded childlike (as if I was still a child) and sensual until I remembered: sensual and childlike are forbidden to lay in such close juxtaposition though I do not recall who said so. Who was it, after all,
who proclaimed children are innocents when we have many reasons to know they are not? Why just today, I saw a shy girl pull a butterfly from its flight, detach each of its wings & hold each gossamer bit—and with such ferocious tenderness—between her eager scarlet lips.
-- Lynne Thompson is the author of Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Press Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writer’s Award. She is the newly-appointed Reviews & Essays Editor for the California journal, Spillway, and recent work has appeared in Apercus Quarterly, Poemleon & Solo Novo.