Summer 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 3 Poetry |


As heat moves through like its own animal whose evening pulse is headlights and a reply of lit cats' eyes, as after the amber of Freon streaks my ceiling and the ceiling begins to cave, I've had no AC for days. I've had knuckles unfold from the oleanders, try to lock with mine. They're boiled and hazy in their summer whites--- why I remember the boy from down the street who often begged to suck my eyeball. My pupil rolled under his tongue, the one whose scent was clove smoke and a soft brie, winging after some blinding sight. I must've singed the buds in his tongue to desert thistles---left a taste like a saint's charred footprint. As you recede, memory, a warning: my eye might make something calcify, a stone through your sleep, shorn dog so nude it's another nocturnal shiver. As sweat stings my eye, you'll recall the taste, and the blue cacti, stoppered with blooms, will seize like blown crepe.

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Anna Journey is the author of the poetry collections Vulgar Remedies (Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (University of Georgia Press, 2009), which was selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California. Her website is

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