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Terry Wolverton: Four Poems

Poetry

Time’s Canopy

Afternoon
The old cat re-appears at the screen door

3 p.m.
Relax in green shade with an Eskimo pie

Sometimes
Hiding in a bed of grass and leaves

6 p.m.
Orange sun begins to fall into the neglected street

Hours
My grandmother’s open hands at the end of her life

Thursday
Sounds of bells outside the window—I hold my breath

Evening
Gratitude for its cool, lavender light

Midnight
Exuberant music of the freeway

Days
A birthday, a party dress, a glass of ginger ale

Summer
Hems of the trees promise a deeper gold

Years
The body a wooden puppet, trying to embrace air before disappearing

*

City Life

Ed the Hype dies from the sting of vision;
he will not mourn the passing of autumn

Crows tell jokes to naked gods who gather
on the corner in the green morning rain

In the parking lot of the liquor store,
matron plays chess with an exhausted thief

All afternoon, two Chihuahuas, little
rats, lick the tears of a wino in the park

The pallbearer’s face is sealed; he catches
the hummingbird rising to the new moon.

Bare-limbed girls eat cake like kittens, clicking
heels against moments of the night sidewalk

After work, the workers dress like ladies
for the bonfires on Skid Row at midnight.

Prayers of the lonely go unnoticed;
Star People lift up the sky, flood our eyes.

Scrapes of the world do not erase me. I
find my sunglasses, snatch an hour of song.

*

Green Honey 

If I owned a glass spaceship
I could see all the sad flowers
of the spinning universe.
I would not suffer this world
as a jail or hospital,
nothing but walls of data
to escape. Sickness would leave
my mind, its factoids dispersed
into substance-less vapor.
My eyes would wake to gardens
of milk blue clouds, ice crystals
dissolving like my heartbeats.
I’d visit your atmosphere
to borrow a cup of rain.

*

Redeemed

Jesus was carrying blind kittens down
to the radioactive ocean
to wash their wounds in the troubled waters.
They churned in silver, each wet and howling
until I plucked them out, hidden in my
green sweater, promised not to forget, served
up cream and tears. I noticed Jesus had
no shadow; his flesh evaporated
into another world; spine became a
river, arms a dim road under moonlight.
Who could follow into eternity?
Some think it mysterious, but I will
be left behind, eating my dusty words,
red lips shiny with honey, eyes on fire.

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