Laura Solomon’s poems have appeared online at nowCulture, and her reviews have appeared in Rain Taxi and Verse. She lives in Athens, Georgia.
Among the Trees Without the Trees
We found no Indians.
We found no muffins among the discarded.
We were hoping for muffins.
Our stomachs growled with irk
And then headed off toward the park.
As the sun plied, we grew a blue-gray peaked.
Laugh lines tapering, our white hairs brilliant and shining.
We ordered ice-cream and guacamole.
Our white hairs smiling. Moorish soon disappeared
And a joyous countenance was assumed – we, having shirked
Our responsibilities to the revolution. Trenches be damned.
Artillery be damned. We assumed a joyous countenance.
Where are the tents? you asked. Will we have to writhe in the dirt?
Several lives were saved in red velvet above the suede boot-hills.
Stars enumerated the possibilities. We listened with attentive and drowsy.
Sleep endearing itself to us, the partial and the biased –
That night, we played spades with a crippled buzzard,
Taking care to avoid his hot, carrion breath. Alas, he leaned in,
Whispered something which you scribbled upon our treasure map.
You stuck it in your shoe. All night, we took turns guarding it.
As Ordered by the Monarch Twice Beheaded:
Send news of your approach, a rattlesnake’s warning (perhaps your pocket could jingle with
Cage me in cardboard unconfined, poking holes in the lid above: the cloud games here are
Bruise my thigh with a used tambourine,
Set me afloat in a rented dinghy: oarless toward menacing calm, I will maroon
upon coral reef with much fruition.
Reel the sailfish that tugs your line: its image projected on a filmy summer screen,
the fly-trap zapping,
we tag & release to blue.
Carve me a wooden idol, one more graven image for the mantle.
Bake me a cake & spring forth from it, all butter-cream frosting, clinging like the dream
remembered, but dimly & the sprinkles still frolicking about.
Lend me your hairshirt.
Whip up a milky froth & dollop my double shot: crossing your tease, you dot your eyes,
the coxcomb amused by such predicament.
Take me from behind.
Trace the diameter transparent: end in Ecuador itself (sweating, panting:
balance of power restored:
my hegemony foiled again) again) again).
Longing for Monogamy
I thought of you today, Kazakstan.
Missed the spelling of Czechoslovakia.
Missed the old duel, the duality. The hand-to-hand
Combativeness, the all’s fair logic to it.
I hear little from you these days and often wonder
My offense. Should I have paid for dinner?
Perhaps going Dutch has fallen out of vogue.
Yet we have always had this bizarrish connection.
You are the loveliest of the -stans:
Kyrgystan eyes you with envy.
Tajiki-, Uzbeki-, Turkmeni-
You remain aloof, as do I. Still, I suppose
We all have a bit of the reactionary within.
Nostalgia for older, colder days.
Summer steams too hot.
We adjust thermostats with enthusiasm,
Yet there is too much fecundity. Too much of the green and lush.
Fall approaching and glorious October
Where one feels infinitely secure, almost untouchable
& then the impact of snow: instant, precipitant.
that thing forgotten, plaited in harmless oblivion
the dexterity required to unfold it
and then a bird in its aperture swooping
he thought he heard it
there in the brevity of skin a quiet divulgence, a wheedling
there was a struggle (but not really)
the one to the other side of the pool and back wins
who called for the crane with wander-
lust needling a splinter beneath thumb for blood
for a forbidden forbidden by whom
I have forgotten forgotten by whom
A Dram of Blue-Black This
Midnight in full spigot, soaking creatures catatonic – a cricket cracked mid-aria,
the hind-leg arched, degraded by drip
Such is impertinence
Skittering when doubt begins to nag to gnaw, a wiry rat in the dark
Kumquats in chin-wag
Spouting their disbelief like so many others I know I knew I too dumbfounded
by the commodification of Marxism
With horrific and balderdash
Gargantuan seeming the suckers in proud perennial swirl
Clutching like hovering like looming, over-toothy with grin, bug-eyes popped
in dead clownish fashion
The oompah loompahs among us
Yet this: sole night cupping
Death with its life with its death – I do think there is mettle in death – thin incisions
as blades skim ice, precise is the precision of thinness, of merge and sever
speeding pastfast one another sketching the ineffable, a high-five in the center
Stars serosanguineous there in the there
Flight premeditative of dew, steam ascending from green
And like moths, lithe and drawn to the sconce, we, too, halcyon in the low-light with cull.