"It Is Better to Marry Than to Burn," Said Paul
the love letter inside your pocket
Wild blue flames
electricity to consume
the finer threads,
then a burst of orange or yellow
on the thicker weave.
The fire department's report
of spontaneous combustion
never to be believed by international scientists,
or the city council.
Mothers deny, too,
although their young women
take off their blouses now
and sweat prodigiously in their designer bras
in the middle of a Sunday sermon.
So many fans whir, the stained glass
just a mirage on a long asphalt highway
through a stretch
of sexy Texas.
Middle-aged women drink tumblers of water
at 2 a.m.,
dream they are making love with Icarus
over the Gulf of Mexico
on the back of a comet.
An occasional feather falls,
sticks to the turret
of an abandoned sand castle in Biloxi.
reading about you on the front page
of the Sentinel,
burn gold autumn leaves in their vast front yards,
overbrown their dinners of green beans and onions,
discard their singed straw hats in the sun.
Nobody cares about dying anymore,
about heat strokes, or tidal waves,
or collisions with meteors.
In Macon, the shoes of average men
to the sidewalks,
make volcanic sucking noises.
Buddhist monks bum cigarettes from strangers,
without knowing why.
Though taffy won't make in this heat,
children in Selma magnolias
delight in the messy yeilding of chocolate mint patties,
Assorted bon-bons in a box
You are hot enough to cook
all the red beans and rice in Mississippi and Alabama,
all the fatback in Uncle Q's dee-freeze,
melt all the canned peaches in the cellar
with your brandied syrup flame.
Despite people trying to put you out,
you walk coolly
out of the air-conditioned restaurant,
blow a kiss
in a line of smoke, sparks, and ash
detected by rangers in at least six states,
and by Paul who looks through a fifty-cent telescope
atop Lookout Mountain.
To three t.v. stations
he reports the end of the world.
It's just the beginning.
Causes Bonnie Roberts Supports
The Southern Poverty Law Center, The National Resource Defense Council, The ACLU, Doctors without Borders, Save Darfur