ATM slips the color of old jockey shorts. Thirty-year-old tiki-bar souvenirs. The black gleaming forearm hair of the muezzin.
A submerged garage for cars that drive off piers. My wilted lettuce leaf. Penne untasted in a rusting bowl.
A snapped guitar string pitted with age and desperate. The pained leotard of the contortionist. First water on the bug-parched windshield.
The dimple in the waitress’s upper arm. Six hundred cigarette butts in the gutter between 19th and Wilson. Her perfume rising out of my sweater drawer.
Rosemary. Chopping blocks on wheels. My aunt’s rubber-stopped cane.
Clinging vines with autistic parents. A stained cork. A dime-store buddha.
Crust of blood on a razor nick. Two miles of copper wire. The palsied hand of a tumorous mechanic.
Awkward breaks in a conversation filled with someone else’s laughter. An 1838 Anabaptist tract with copperplate engravings. Strands of blistered kelp.
Ragged fingernails fretting a cigarette. Ticket stubs for a formal three days after the breakup. The door in the reliquary of John the Baptist’s hand.
A capless bottle of Gordon’s gin. Hunted eyes, razored out of an old photograph. A hurried postcard ridged with dirt.
—31 july 1994, revised 18 june 1998
©Tim Jarrett 1994, 1998. All rights reserved.