Stride Magazine - www.stridemagazine.co.uk
PRESBYTERIAN GRAVEYARD, JULY 1980
The day after, we read numbers and letters off our skins.
DO YOU WANT FREEDOM FRIES WITH THAT?
Her eyes were like blank acres on a roadmap—the source that swallows us whole.
THE TRAIN RODE HOME THROUGH A BEAUTIFUL WORD
The kismetologist looks out the window. She sees her stop speed past.
Do you see the sails, she wants to ask the other passengers—Can we
agree that the ocean has moved left? East? —but doesn’t. She knows. When
lights your door, it may blacken your walls. She closes her eyes, can’t
Sleeping sickness would wake without men for the tsetse to bite.
The aloof thrall of our foghorn sets the parrot to tarot out lousy futures.
When it rains down planets, she’s like an aggrieved tern eyeballing bad code.
I take to the roof to watch for mutineers. They’ll tumble to earth like an “O”
off the page of a clammy anthology.
If they live, Polly serves them pea soup. It’s good soup. I’ll give her that.
Peter Shippy 2003