Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Phoenix Issue, No. 16, Winter 2008
Home - Current IssueContributorsArchiveAbout Us
  H.L. Hix
  Marci Rae Johnson
  Jae Newman
  Geoffrey G. O'Brien
  K. Alma Peterson
Print version


Desire Is a Road

Spend enough time on your knees
and you become sacred, penance

being a symptom of the divine.
My father, who palmed corsets,

was like this. He’d shoot-up
in the cellar, presenting something

brilliant in his voice, scratch
his face to proclaim, Not there.

My mother, more taken with plans
than approach, considered him a find,

hot like ice cream and dice,
hairtrigger too. Whenever

I’d ask for advice,
she’d shrug, point to the elms.

See that house? I used to live there
when my jobs were to steal

peaches for Carmen,
water sequins under the floodlights.

This is how my mother taught me
the difference between

desire and the sea—
one is always bigger.