Nine Short Poems
Mornings after rain, the pools on the sidewalk
shimmer. Some days are perfect for walking, other
days, I know the knives are close behind.
Deer rip the flame licked sunflowers from their stalks
and eat them whole. Once, I watched a pale tomato worm
burrow into the plump red fruit.
When the water is cloudy, the swimmers
think twice. Sometimes, when I’m not watching
the plecostomus comes out of hiding.
How did I fail to realize the heads on Easter Island were simple bodies
buried to the neck? At the Gentleman’s Green
no one turns the sprinklers off when it rains.
At noon – I have perfected the art of nervous laughter, climbing
out of someone else’s swimming pool,
dripping and searching for a towel.
I watch the blue heron glide over the pond, I watch the night heron
shift on its branch.
I watch the cars go by on the road.
Nights when summer reaches its most terrible heat
the beads of sweat on the air conditioner start to evaporate, the machine
groans and threatens to evict me.
In my dream, all the bodies in the world made one
body. A fierce, five-headed body
splashed with paint and fire.
Van Morrison sings Tupelo Honey in 1971 and I’m hearing it
decades later over wall mounted speakers in a coffee shop.
It’s common now, to see hawks drifting over the road.
David Hornibrook is a Pushcart Prize recipient and MFA candidate in the Helen Zell Writer’s Program at the University of Michigan.