Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory


P.J. Nights

10 words for red

tee-shirt and denim skirt,
i’ve lost my shoes and
your bougainvillea kisses
can stay there in the crook
of my arm all night
like a mahogany branch
tapping my windowpane
‘til i throw the sash wide –
no spirits of dead
neighbors, in their stead
fly mad titian angels.
i listen to your tongue
(half ocean-wave, half rouging-
sun) turn ordinary auras
to Hollywoods, dip down
where the madder lake
is deepest. in the alpenglow
evening you beat out lucky
numbers with persistent hands;
beneath unsheathed metal
and blood my heart’s
a vermilion balloon, a fat bag
of gold exploding
into alchemist’s dust. taint me
cinnabar down to my toes,
paint me solferino – the lives
of 40,000 feed a field of mercy –
i arrive in burgeoning pink,
release forgotten purples

collating notes on index cards

I cup hands ‘round a small candlelight
  the look in fall when all starts to droop

 – the fall stature – I’d try it


like a song that ran out of ideas
       and came to the end

tupperware isn’t the be-all end-all      – it lets go –
      I let go of the fruit salad, blueberries rolling
under the frig         let ‘em roll with the dust bunnies
leaving callous-building minutes where fingers find strings
        and songs only I care about

most times all I’m aware of is the light even as I tilt
my rearview against it because I have to drive

      wouldn’t I

                                     if I could

    melt against you

a piece of furniture you’d gladly put
    in your tangled garden

©2003 by P.J. Nights
P.J. Nights lives in coastal Maine with her family and various pound pets. She teaches high school astronomy and physics and is the senior poetry editor of MiPo Magazine. Her poetry has been published in journals such as Animus, Penumbra, Blue Fifth Review, Rock Salt Plum Poetry Review, Stirring, the Slow Trains anthologies, and the textbook, Language and Prejudice. Her poem "three parts wormwood, one part Solomon's Seal" won 1st place in the 2003 (6th annual) Poetry Super Highway contest.

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