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Guest Poet Pam Gebhard


He might have flown, he lands so quick, he brings us
boxer shorts, unboxed, worlds colliding, the color
khaki, a tin of tea, slice of sour mandarin.

And he spends his wars on women.

And he never talks but sends us laughing, jokes, tiny
parachutes of him, the silk against an angry ocean.

Purposely, he dangles me, juggles up my name to
borrowed air. I am the favorite niece, he's back to
see where we left off
his Okinawa politely greets my own private Vietnam.

Nana, I, dust around his Yoko Suko, the years we never
knew her, suck her dry, she lies uninterrupted
his winged ghostly dragonfly.

I play with bloodred obi sash, rose-strewn kimono,
pick at lacquerware to grasp black mysteries of a
forbidden love.

Willing, so willing, her letters well composed,we love
her more for the sorrow of light fading in a bedroom
with her, than without.

And when he comes no more, I proclaim it, not to bloom
anonymous but to go out marching,
marching protests forward into time, taking me to
comfort in the streets.

And if my cry was carried, I let it go to the front,
to the shadows, to the beginning, to be carried like
an instrument at least, for one,
this instrument, my cry, as if love
has only once…

April, 2002

Pam Gebhard's questions:

Just breathing in and out, watching the yellow fox out back in our fields, the fox with the matchstick legs begging for stale hamburgers, fed to him by the Mississippi fox man, all of us in his territory, all of us fair game for his charming trickery. It is wonderful to be bewitched while unemployed. A second fox comes up but not too close so the fox man, the intuitive one, learns how to keep them both satisfied, not jealous. I wish I could write what this man knows.

Any comments?

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