Monday, May 21, 2007



A man stares, fingers streaked with hashish
dust, at a woman in buffalo skins and feathers,
wild hair and fur in all her curves. The floor
drops beneath her, a hurricane opens in her
cloak, stars carve their names into her hand.
He eyes her body, kisses her gold mouth, her
ivory hair, her red teeth, kisses her knees and
blushing toes. Bed of musk, sweat, sighs,
pale dogs aroused by whistles, tusks at her
throat. Faint hair on her calves, aroma of leaves
from her naked feet, his throat like cream on
her tongue. Trees spin over fields scorched
with flames. She moves her hand so slow
its trail hangs and breaks like ice. All that
remains is her skirt of feathers, shoes of dust.

+ + + + +


Jesus is pregnant. A cat sharpens its claws
on Her piercings: eyebrows, nose, lips, vulva,
nipples, clitoris, ears and tongues. Tongues,
because She has seven small ones. White roses
lean over fences to drop cats in Her yard.
She stands still but objects move around Her:
buildings, bridges, lamp-posts. Roses appear
in Her urine. A cat cries, then speaks in
a child's voice. Doctors stitch Her silver
perineum. Jesus gives birth on the cross
but cats suffocate the baby as they sleep.

+ + + + +

NIGHT WITH RED FLOWERS (Rampton Secure Hospital,
Nottinghamshire, England, 2001)

Snow on hands clasped behind my back, hands
reconstructing her piece by
piece as if asleep, corner of her mouth rising, mouth
flung open in surprise
as she walked to the house beyond midnight. I dreamed
her asleep beneath
a pale sheet of snow, hands together, vanishing piece
by piece from earth
into a box, her voice, stars, moon, earth, everything
in motion, voices
in corners with fingers to their lips. Feverish with
her daughter in her arms
in pink pajamas, lifting her shirt to place breast
against mouth, I kissed
the child's forehead. Her hand reeked of cigarettes
and wine, words and
shapes carved into it. Her mouth a blank journal with
roseate paper,
her breath illuminated, body nearly limp, fingers
striped with blood,
night with red flowers growing from her hands, snow in
beads on her face,
cheek against soil, roots of trees growing up around
and over her. I woke
shivering, cheek bruised by roseate paper, I listened
as her footsteps
crushed the snow, my mouth a cradle, a straight line,
a blur, a scrap of light.

Author bio:

Michael Fontana's work has appeared in a number of publications, including Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Fiction International, SamizDada, and elsewhere. He works for a nonprofit community center in northwest Arkansas. His favorite Surrealist writer is Robert Desnos, although, he says, you wouldn't be able to tell from these poems.

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