Winter 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 1 Poetry |

Post-American

Bougainvillea and Tuscan tile on the patio, sunset composed above the lake. Between one altar and the other is interposed a southering flock of monarchs. There's a chair for a daemon at the table. There's a residue of genius on the lawn. A black streak mars the driveway brick: someone peeled rubber and was gone. A shadow in the orangery echoes a shadow on the croquet court Where a wedge of colored balls points to the shadow of a rusting golf cart. Up the stone walkway, the empty fountain holds an empty pigeon's nest Within which bits of eggshell are memento mori of a form, erased. They are gone to offices and classrooms, to the factory and the killing floor, To the florist, to the hospice, to the bank, to the barn, to be burnt, to be blind, to be born, And lizards sun on the patio stone where the skull of a cat gives its stare—Desperate and worshipful, hopeless, starved, permanent, and alone—Waiting for someone to finally come home from making and being made, Or for gods to gyre

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T. R. Hummer’s tenth book of poems, Ephemeron, was published by LSU Press in November 2011; his second book of essays, Available Surfaces, will appear in University of Michigan Press’s Poets on Poetry Series in 2012. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and teaches at Arizona State University.

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By T. R. Hummer

Bougainvillea and Tuscan tile on the patio, sunset composed above the lake. Between one altar and the other is interposed a southering flock of monarchs. There's a chair for a […]

Whitman’s Pantry

By T. R. Hummer

Bougainvillea and Tuscan tile on the patio, sunset composed above the lake. Between one altar and the other is interposed a southering flock of monarchs. There's a chair for a […]

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