Which way is the wind blowing?
Like the dodo-birds, it exits stage left.
Where is the key?
While lake, white clouds, gray hills.
Who has the power?
A green serpent high in the branches of a dead, branchless tree, to which an
oversized ear is stuck like a jewel.
When will the light break?
When the skeleton kneels on its book.
Why are the horses skittish?
The alpinists descend.
How will the light fall?
Away from the skeleton with its birdhouse skull.
What is the vengeance of Mars?
Looks like a junco with a mockingbird’s pert tail and the feathery breeches of a hawk.
Nothing real, in other words. Nothing you need pay mind.
The Latin Name Means “Rummaging Tongue”
Dark butterfly, I’ve got a bone to pick with you.
Except you don’t have bones,
only a candy-slick exoskeleton. Look--
I could call you just another chaos cutie,
your hardly-there wingflaps seeding hurricanes,
your waggly antennae texting all my bad exes:
Come home. But we both know you’re special,
baby, special as an ex the thought of whom,
years later, makes me make fists, punching shame.
Despair, if I weren’t unreasoned by your mirrored eyes,
it would be easy to make a specimen of you--
you’re swollen so fat on my daylights you can barely fly.
With pins I’d fix your thorax through. Paste a label
above your snout. Name, date, location of capture.
And a warning: Don’t Let This Thing Out.
when I find
as I was,
of crimson plastic?
I was only five,
when I learned
as heraldic lions.
pick them out
in fierce metallics,
to dot each I.
Here’s an appliqué
worth the wonder:
in a name,
be it endearment
if you claim
it for your own.
Every name they call you,
you can sew--
writ in stitches
let your very clothes
Write it truly.
Lose the shame.
Copyright © February 2019 Maureen Thorson
Maureen Thorson is the author of two collections of poetry, “My Resignation” (Shearsman Books 2014) and “Applies to Oranges” (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011). Her latest chapbook, “The Woman, The Mirror, The Eye,” was published by Bloof Books in 2015. She lives in Falmouth, Maine, where she acts as personal servant to an extremely grouchy cat. Visit her at maureenthorson.com.