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Michael Fontana

Summer Night's Dream of
    Appalachian Children in the City

Wrenches and screwdrivers grow from soil, sofas in
courtyards. A neighbor plays fiddle while children sleep on
fire escapes. I consider standing on the rooftop but stars are
broken glass. Giant fans waddle onto streets and blow
fructified air of distilleries until everyone smells like kin.
My shoes are backward, my shirt inside-out. Swords of light
and shade collide; they clatter all night long within
the building and it frightens everyone but the children,
who pluck ripe screwdrivers from the earth and use them
to remove their ears so they no longer hear a thing but
waters of their cochleae and God's voice like a cricket
in the hollers of their brains.

Lives of Modern Saints #5

Once she's given birth, the moon floats over
her house like a blue ghost and conceals
her red-green hair, sixteen years old. Her
lover slides through walls to hold her, sobbing,
on pillows scented with pepper. He speaks
with a raven's voice: "Day and night I think of
your feet, the taste of cherries on your breast,
the chimney smell inside your skirts, our fingers
under tables, knees sparkling, eyes lifted, as we
descend upon each other like evening on the sea."

©2007 by Michael Fontana

Michael Fontana was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. His writing has appeared in Colorado Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. He currently works at a community mental health center in northwest Arkansas.

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