Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Phoenix Issue, No. 16, Winter 2008
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JYNNE DILLING MARTIN

We Are But the Sad Opacity of Our
Future Specters

As trees are forced to bow to the heaps of sodden leaves that abandoned
them, some rank with mold, sickeningly mucilaginous, others crumbling
to brittle bits, as the beached whale’s listless eye must watch the abyssal

ocean mindlessly spit spray at her chapped flank as she asphyxiates,
unable to turn her mammoth head away, so too does what I’ve lost refuse to leave.
Impossible to say if over years it will blow, speck by speck, away, or if I will lie

unmoving as it rises, its rustle the final and loudest sound. To be two kings
at once: one with a solarium, an army of slaves, a sky of long-legged birds
embroidered on his bristly blue robe, the hem of which satyrs, kneeling, brush

with their unbranched horns, and a single foreign orange, peeled and sectioned,
placed nearby on a plate; the other deposed, forgotten, in midfall toward blunt rocks. 
To learn for certain whether it was worse to fiddle unsuspectingly with a crown.