Susan Smith Nash


The squalor of everyday desire

walking down the road

pulling up clumps of dead grass

my fist dry and dusty and forgotten –

sad you won’t look at me like that

ever again;

sallow sky grim like glass

bearing down six inches over my heart

you know I can’t breathe

not like this

not when the sky

keeps me from flying –

gaudy raw moth

stabbed right through my belly

mounted on this mortal earth

tongue frozen in the rictus

of trying to shape a soft consonant like “love”

or simply to shake the dust

lapping at my imagination.


   -- October 27, 2001