The Bus Stops Here
Your mind is a county fair
but the entrance shifts
every time I approach, and
the rides fade or hum away
into the pastures, long past
their second mowing, bales
rolled and stacked two-high.
When you speak, I hear instead
in the pull, or greased shoats
squirting free through children's
arms - no prize too little, none
too great - words cracked and
twisted into other possibilities.
We watch the races, and the
horses round the curve
but never reach the finish, as
the haze becomes a blanket
we lie on, munching corn
dogs and funnel cakes among
the ant mounds and debris.
You ask what happened to the
cow lady, whether I prefer anthrax
to rabies, and if we'll be forced to
walk home or hitch. I don't know,
I say. Neither. The bus stops here.
Lily Pads - Rachel Misenar
Looking Ahead He Looks Back
Those things we leave behind.
The rooster's full moon crow
or the blue enameled cast iron pot
bearing the scars of a thousand
meals. Hair on a brush. Harsh
night words and the photos of
a wooden lighthouse from a
discarded life. We choose some,
misplace others. How does a home
curdle within one night's orbit?
The answer is not your truth. Or mine.
I measure my life in hours lost.
Robert Okaji is a displaced Texan living in Indiana. He holds a BA in history, served without distinction in the U.S. Navy, lived the hand-to-mouth existence of a bookstore owner, worked as a university administrator, and now bags groceries for a living. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Boston Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Panoply, Eclectica, Into the Void, High Window, Vox Populi and elsewhere. Visit his blog, O at the Edges.