Stage Directions

This entry is part 17 of 28 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Autumn 2013


Thirst and dreams in the middle of the night. Smoked herring in oil; sardines, anchovies. Capers and capelin roe. This strange, intense longing for salt, unkillable like a roach that skitters out from under the shelves as soon as the lights are doused. Nervous twitching behind walls, beneath the floorboards. Don’t give me a fake geode to lick; let me have a bead of citrine, a yellow sapphire, a tiger’s-eye, a crystal facet around which to fit my tongue. In other words, the thing itself: because everything else would be poor copy. I groom my retinue of desires to impeccable standards— only the best will do. I march them through daily drills, hup hup; review their syntax, applaud all vaults and clumsy dismounts, attempts to clear the pommel horse. Up high, the bars and wires glint sharper than walls in a knife thrower’s gallery. But darlings, don’t fret. You work hard, you’re lovely as newborn lyrics. Don’t worry yourselves about the weather, ticket sales, secret shoppers, masquerading critics, the ennui of the damned. Don’t pay attention to anything but the beautiful wings waving you onward, the ones that flush the currant bushes with color and sound.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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