Friday, November 15, 2013

The White Camels of Somalia

The camels of Somalia are white and lap sand like water
as they trundle their burdens between the dark gray grassland

and whatever color eternity is. Their milk is sweet as orange
marmalade. They butcher easily, bleed-out quickly, and their meat

tastes like honey if you cut away the fat for candles that sparkle
and smoke the blackest black smoke. The camels of Somalia stampede

before storms despite the affection of their Gabran handlers, who weather
mile upon mile of wind and grit and weep against the scars on their eyes.

Off the Coast - Fall 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How Cold Is the Snow

Where do you go, little bird, when it snows? – Nicky Mehta

You’re not really a little bird
anymore, are you? You’ve grown
tall. You choose where to go,
when to eat, what to breathe.
You say, “No,” a lot these days.
You limp, too. When
did all that start, little bird?

Your eyes don’t seem connected
to anything anymore. You curse
and scowl, let your stomach ache,
let your body reek. You shiver
at night, little bird, and curl up
alone in the grass, wonder
when your next warmth
will come. You are bruised
along your ribs. Why?
Your eyebrows are shaved.
Why? You called yourself
a faggot to my face. Why?

Do you remember that wintertime
is just around the corner, that we get snow?
Do you remember throwing snowballs
not so long ago and slush leaking
down your shirt? Do you remember,

little bird, how cold is the snow?

Toe Good Poetry - November 3, 2013