Mini-Cleopatras of the backyard creek,
what faith shakes us from the bone
of make-believe? Sometimes lions, we
stretch sun-lengthened limbs, laugh fierce
bells of lilac. Sometimes meat, we dream
the soft darkness of mane pressing us
downward as we’re devoured, each invisible
portion of flesh. Grasshoppers rise from the bank
in silent applause. July parades her turgid belly
straight down Main Street, splintering shutters
with school-girl swagger. Dry sheets rust
to clotheslines. We light our throats with butter
cups, witch our hair in silt the sheen of night.
We, of spoon-bending mind, of voodoo
nouns, shift board into plume, lift as one nude
into bloom along the roadside. Water whispers
from our skin. Old men in pick-ups avert their eyes.
Others turn and turn. Before we melt back into the forest
of our clothes, we hula hoop our hips in bee-haze
heat. Each grin a lavish display of blackberry ink
or sheen of blood between our teeth.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.
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