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

joanne burns



                                              time rolls down the tolerant
                                              hill from the secular bus stop

                                              you can wax your feet with a
                                              candle stub and join up for the ride –
                                              lie on the road as it turns
                                              the corner just for the heck of it

                                              the whiff of warm tar makes a day
                                              less boring in a long hot summer when
                                              temperance jigs on the porch like a
                                              rampant djinn: anxiety seeping through
                                              that unwrapped gift of the iliad, you suck
                                              on the toffee or fate sucks on you

                                              bury the long necks under the hibiscus
                                              and hear a modest future bloom;

                                              the beat of the tennis ball against
                                              the high garage wall can improve

                                              a backhand and volley the charm
                                              of elastic hooked to the ball like a

                                              hero no smashing of window glass
                                              at the kitchen sink; you’ll sit

                                              like a sunset, tuck into a soft
                                              chop and two tone salad minus

                                              the orange ring the accusation of ocean
                                              smothered in the folds of a frayed epaulette