Leaving Rhode Island
White coral, lightless chandeliers,
ship’s rigging etched in scrimshaw:
last night’s wet snow weighs on the trees,
keys of an old piano, stuck down and silent.
The trees along the highway after the snow
make fractured glass of the sky.
Every twig’s an upside-down éclair,
every branch a zigzag two-tone bowling alley.
Once, our glass stovetop shattered,
and every fragment stayed in place.
I wonder what’s waiting to burst
into burning circles
just on the other side of the sky.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 41.
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Bento: a lunchbox coated in resin secreted by an insect whose blood is sometimes also used to make a red dye.
Beento: someone who has studied abroad in England; at times, someone who bought a winter coat for this reason.
Awhato: a caterpillar that has been killed and mummified by a parasite, after which the parasite’s spore-producing organ juts out of the caterpillar’s neck, like a flag of conquest, and which is dried and burned to make a black dye.
Annatto: an orange dye made from the seeds of a tropical tree.
Toheroa: a long-tongued clam once exploited to make a green soup and now protected by law.
Hetaera: a woman in ancient Greece prized for her long tongue; her hair dye may be red, orange, or black; her praises are sung at symposia where her bared legs are bitten by drunks and insects until blood beads the skin.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.
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