Who would have carried it this far,
up the crest between watersheds,
then quit before the downhill?
It doesn’t seem old enough
to have been stranded
when this land was covered
by shallow waters
that buckled and rose,
dividing the water in two.
Every year it sheds a board.
The paint muted,
drawn into surrounding foliage.
If the trees know the story, they aren’t saying.
A trunk has pushed through the hull
pinning the bow to the hillside.
So it can hardly be the lifeboat
we will step into
when the waters fill the valley again
that will allow us to float away.
Alison Hicks is the author of poetry collections You Who Took the Boat Out and Kiss, a chapbook Falling Dreams, and a novella, Love: A Story of Images. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Eclipse, Gargoyle, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and is forthcoming in Poet Lore. She is founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops.
I have never slaughtered a pig.
My hands, though slathered with a sheen
Of melted flesh, are swiftly cleaned
With a simple paper towel.
The cottonwood trees watch. Whisper. A
lyrical business, theirs. Bored by the Wind
River, they turn toward the termite-nibbled
The Pacific begs me to swim away, anything
to keep us from strangling each other
on the boardwalk. The Freakshow
is where our love belongs, a two-headed
oddity feasting on dust and bone
This is how pleasure goes marauding
thinking twenty was happy
thinking faces you won’t believe
wrapped in a smell of hand
When she reeked of distraction, a dozen fools
set out to decant her childhood.
You work with doll pieces and cigar
boxes. Mirrors reflect limbs
suspended on toothpicks.
It’s easy to forget how weird Elvis was, sitting in the Atlanta airport on a Sunday morning, Viva
Las Vegas on every screen,
lined up at the bar with fellow travelers recently notified that alcohol is not for sale until 12:30 this afternoon.
Come chill with me and watch a show
Tonight, whenever, I don't know;
We'll listen to the new J. Cole,
And I will judge your nipple mole
look back, look back
you will be Rorschach
a print of a man
She’s not my aunt by blood,
so I’ve a chance to taste her.