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.
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
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
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
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