06 April 2014

The nosy cherubs on the lamps

           by Abigail Cloud


Something on the water. Something
wholesome, like spoiling corn crops
or sparking a tri-state wildfire. Or
a bit of glamour, like stopping glass
elevators in casinos, between floors,

then dropping them. I'm tired
of small catastrophe, the delicate
balance between shrugged-off accident
and tiny horror. Fits of pique, bursts
of desperate memory, tireless, dull

annoyance: How many brittle ankles
can be wrenched in holes? How many
jugs of milk can be soured before time?
How many smashed heirlooms, rained-
out parades, singed fingertips, coins

dropped in grates, stained blouses
before business meetings? How
many shiny balloons are there still
to burst?


The whirlybird moon, the spangles
int he cloud of her skirt, a leopard
pump hide-and-seeking in a curl
of the blankets. Her nerves banged
an anthem to the sexy Bartlett
pears, the sexy palm plant draped
in the corner, the mirror like a mouth
on the wall. She made her excuses
to the nosy cherubs on the lamps,
muffled their commentary with scarves.
She knew there would be mock
goodnights, a fractional vocabulary.
She knew a belt would get looped
around the bedpost, a candle snuffed
out with a thumbpad. The sexy china
bull. The sexy coat rack. The cherubs

knew it would all end in smoke.   

From The American Poetry Review, March/April 2014.

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