leads her north
where she'll sell the dressed hare feet—
salted, then dyed
the pinks and oranges of festival colors;
She'll use the profits
and an ill wind to marry my brother.
Hips wide and flared
from carrying baskets and babies,
it is her hair that causes the most trouble.
Tight and blue-wiry. Electric
vibrations that shatter
mirrors and drive crows mad.
She give me have her sons
for a time, called forth in a bloodbath
because she pisses God off at every opportunity.
I assign the boys biblical names,
slip a bright penny in their shoes
and pray for the best.
They'll leave me as giant oaks
when the wind reverses.
Swim away with her, laughing
through their big white teeth. They'll head west
where climbing green peppers purify sin
and beliefs are canvas
painted over in despair.
Knowing no better, fearing the worst,
I stand on the pier
through two generations, hailing seagulls
and barnacled jetsam,
watching the sky for smoke ring omens.
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson