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by Linda Parsons


O how I want to loose thunder
on the scrotal sac of females throbbing

birthsongs in the eave of my porch.
I long to press the Hot Shot button,

spray brimstone until my arm goes numb,
until the harrowing hum, the death

in their asses, drops silent, one by one.
Below their paper palace, my trigger

finger twitches, my skin remembers
the dab of spit and tobacco daubed

on stings, the bitter cure equal to the agony.
I want to kill them all—but hold my fire

for the sake of their exquisite architecture,
their warrior hearts and aim, slings

and arrows for the just and wanton alike,
saviors of squash bloom and zinnia.

I hold for the sake of our waning, burning
world, for clearing karma of past lives

to the next, for mothers huddled in blind
ecstasy, daughters breech in their sweet

hexagons, my windows and bare feet
so near the sleek poison, nearer still

our mutual deliverance.




I push aside the lace, so photogenic in the village,
often with cats sunning in the sill, turn the knob

hard left to unclasp the seven-foot windows
of this 19th century country farm. I’ve learned

to work the inner shutter’s intricate contraption
and finally fling it open to cool morning,

low talk of pilgrims on le chemin through
to Spain, tap-tapping their walking sticks.

The ancient speaks loudest: the crumbling wellhouse,
earthenware cast from the Garonne’s clay banks,

the clock tower striking slow hours. All set
against the lot of RVs traveling Europe

on a whim, Brits complaining of visas for only
ninety days—while I, comfortable in my room

or sleek studio, cast unhurried lines to sink
or swim where the current runs calm, listen

for tawny owls at nightfall, the bass notes
of doves to unclasp whatever burdens still

weigh or speak in languages though foreign
to my ear, uncomplicate my stony path.

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