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P.J. Nights

landfills & musical interludes

it isn’t his body there
that draws you in
not that hip
nor that foot


this coastland smoothes stones
on one end – sheds shale on the other

the sharp edges, the ones that lay round
in your hand

      they are both of us, aren’t they?

the little bit of white quartz
that wants to be an easter egg
warm in a child’s hand

shale I'd drop for a razor clam
– sea foam on your cheek –

    to make you trust me at your throat


hammocks and chairs twisted from forsythia
branches – my great-grandfather’s chimney
is the smoke stack of the forest –

his stone walls curve around moss beds

         moss beds, our beds


quail eggs for breakfast, acorn pancakes
     I’m a child of the woods

wood you

              leave the city?

   would you join me in my bed?

spring's more than butterflies

your little idiosyncrasies
indulged in when no one
could possibly see
everyone does it – eh?
picking your nose on the commute
passing the porch with the sunflower bench

       (so familiar you’ve dangled your legs
   over its edge having a fag
              in the raw light)

no one can see, two lanes approaching
you in your low-down Tercel, an SUV
sidling up
the pick turns into a scratch
ahh itchy nosemornings         how long
‘til you pick for strangers?

in the grocery, damned uncomfy
insistent thong – the isle’s empty
(for the moment) and you reseat it
studiously reading soup labels
for the calorie count
             what if, what if
you take your leisure – pause knowingly –
for the unshaven man
with the world-weary eyes
turning in with his cart of steaks
and wine

that one pause, that one intentional
slip, would it grow until you were
buzzing semis on the highway,
your skirt hem bunched about your waist?

©2004 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. 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. She edited the "Women of the Web" print anthology with CE Laine and Dorothy Mienko, which will be out in November.

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