I sweated in Cuba one season past summer

And didn't imagine had I been any dumber

I'd have worked on something even hotter to do

Like painting a tin roof black at two

P.M. in the full-faced sun. No, cutting cane

In retrospect was decent work and sweetened pain:

I was stepping in sugar with your spirit on earth

While your mama was in a pantry giving birth

To a long, thin species of household dragon

That coils to constrict and constricts to poison

Any man she can wrap her scales around

And bite off flesh till only the bone is found.

I crunched around your kitchen then heard you curse:

"You're stepping in sugar with my spirit on earth." 



i'm lying on corks. they're hurting me.

- patrick white


Pretty much the same fall wind

that ruffles and fluffs your pubic hair,

that brings color to faraway maple trees,

that ripples the surface of Middle River

and darkens its pale blue demeanor, now

ponies and canters ‘cross your husband's brow

and ventilates that perspiring, restless head

before the wind gloriously turns about

with greater force (god bless it, god bless it!)

and facilitates in so doing--nay, enables--

our escape into the wild rose bushes by and by

the banks. O sure they scratch, sure they cut,

sure they gouge, you bet we bleed--

of course this is what lying on corks would

likely be just like--but we're alive to touch,

we're alive to kiss, ah, we're up to love again.



Come see a luna moth

Caught on the screen of the greenhouse,

Pinned in a cloaked, outspread position

Like it was in the midst of prayers

That apparently got no favorable answer.

I also want you to look above the bug, baby,

And focus on out to sea.

Notice the sailboats bending to the whitecaps,

Weighted down by men stretched out

In parallel, and then uprighted

By their unity of mind.

Their unity of mind:

I wonder how many of them would want you

The way I do. Somehow,

Those guys don't look like they're into

Overweight, under-bathed women.

Unity of mind: I'm betting they're singsong insistent

On shaved underarms and a smooth vagina,

And a brain that knows how to survive

In silence. But me, love. But me—

I crave you the same way

That pretty bug on the screen

Had to have the nightlight in the hothouse,

And while I won't die spread-eagled for your ass,

I am willing to honor those who might.

I'm sailing into town this evening

To find a talented milliner

And have her cut me out a pale green cape.

It'll be something I can wear at sea

And something I can swish around

Your curving, bulbous person

To hide you from the outside world

(Just in case I'm wrong about

The boaters in the distance

And all their unity of mind).


William C. Blome is a writer of poetry and short fiction.  He beds down nightly in-between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is an MA graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars.  His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Amarillo Bay, Prism International, Taj Mahal Review, The Rusty Nail, Salted Feathers and The California Quarterly.