Summer 2010

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

Teresa White


Saturday on the Edge

Dandelions have taken over the yard,
home invasion robberies are up.
The roof leaks, a moose is trapped
in a south hill swimming pool.

Two girls are missing,
their parents’ fingernails chewed
to the quick. The car won’t start.
Last week my knee gave way.

My neighbor isn’t speaking to me;
my hair is falling out.
The roses I planted last season
have withered. The dog won’t stop barking.

Up and down the block, windchimes
are dead in their tracks. Methheads
bicycle their booty all over town.
My sweater is unraveling.

I can’t sleep, pray to the god
in ceiling rock. All I need is an
earthquake, another volcano
to erupt. Only the unwashed

dishes in the sink give me reason
to thrive: I love the way
bubbles of Joy clean my hands,
all the water, water, water.


An Honest Living

You are a motel maid without a mop.
It's your knees they want down
on the ceramic tile, hands in the toilet bowl.
Shower stalls sweat behind
the plastic curtains, awful clots
of hair stopper the drains.
The big yellow gloves don't keep
your thumbs from splitting open
as the slow corrosion of Clorox
eats into your skin.
Semen, urine, blood
stain the crumpled sheets,
betray the dirty business
we never talk about.
Ten rooms by noon clock the vacuum's pace.
Push here, push there, push everywhere
and don't expect a tip.
And when you've changed the heart-
shaped bed in the honeymoon suite,
don't forget the foil-wrapped mint
before you close the drapes.
Beware the long-haul truckers
who wish to know your name;
they watch you move around
them in your nylon uniform.
Don't let them see your panties.
Bend at the knee.
Smile if you have to,
ask them what they need.


The Apricot Harvest

If we were anything, we were stragglers.
You could trace us by the clink
of our galvanized pails or the vulgar
language the boys liked to use when reading
a scene, deciding to play gangsters ‘til sundown.
The lights in the sky were too many to number.
All I knew was the sweet rot of apricots
as we lay down in the itchy grass and prayed
for solar flares. It wasn’t about the short shorts
I was wearing, not even about the way I’d worn
my hair to park with you under these eucalyptus
in California. All that’s left is the wax paper
from the sandwiches and the new gold loops itching
in my ears. Mama’s in the kitchen tweezing out
the gray. Now is the time to put aside these pails
and walk deep into the property and commit
our felonies and admit for punishment the cadence
busy frogs croak out. It is inconceivable
that we will do this again, one more episode
in an apricot orchard, one more summer.


© Teresa White



Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

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