Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Phoenix Issue, No. 16, Winter 2008
ContributorsArchiveAbout Us
  H.L. Hix
  Marci Rae Johnson
  Jae Newman
  Geoffrey G. O'Brien
  K. Alma Peterson
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Life in Particular

Living is a horizontal fall.                                                          
—Jean Cocteau                                                           

If the baby on the faded billboard
                                       really smiled before it was born—
If Maple Street were not a strip mall
                                       with ample parking but no maple trees, no memory
                                          of Adeste Fideles, your poodle with a trick patella
If the collared peccary did not eat
                                       everything green: here a pear,
                                          there a prick, everywhere a prickly pear,
                                             on earth as it was in Arizona.
If javelina were to Arizona as flamingos
                                        are to Florida: mental herds,
                                           the pleasure of the icon
                                              is all about the fold.
If origami were the oxymoron 
                                       of our childhood: no lovely boat
                                          or graceful crane to tell or show.
                                             I know you’d say the same
if our summer had not milfoiled
                                       sea to glaring sequel.
If, in bloated boats, we had not pried
                                       into the private lives of icons, and probed instead
                                          the astral beauty of the rhubarb leaf.

                                                                          Sad mime, romaine in hand:
                                                                     let us cross the night sky
                                                                period—T for Time—into one
of those bored depressions in sand dollar
for dollar: this is the way to travel.