Stars, Moon, Rooster
Later, the road looked brightfrom the kitchen window,so she walked it.Stars, moon. The sand.The rooster still awake.Then the village—some small houseswith dark squares of glass,the kind of house with linoleum,with a woman who stays up late and hopes.She knows about hope, has had plenty.But the hoping for a thing is alwaysso much more than the thing itself.A child is born and is practicallythe embodiment of hope.She’d seen that kind before.But what then?A moment or two of purity,naked on a table,then the whole thing thrustinto the arms of another?In the end, it all gets used up.And the hope doesn’t matter so muchanymore, and anyway, she’s come farenough by now, been gone long enough.A mix of sea salt and wind scuttles up dust,an empty plastic grocery sack.She goes to that blown-down cyclone fence,steps over and crosses into the desert.She heads to the open place,where light falls equally, like snow,where everything’s a shiveringkismet of silvery white. [End Page 304]
Maybe That Good Cherry Jam
If a single day in the lifeof an ordinary womanis enough, if it includesat the beginning strongcoffee with cardamom,or maybe a squeeze of lemonin a cup of gin—depends on the day,no one has said yet what kindof day this actually is,it might be the most ordinaryday of anyone’s life: that lightthrough the kitchen window,the ironed cloth, warm breadand some good cherry jamor a sip of gin held tightfor a moment againstthe back of the tongue,her heart already used upby some wreckage or other.They say the world breaks everyone.That what you are afterwardis all that really matters.So why shouldn’t she put downthis day, like a bundle,and then just walk away? [End Page 305]
Bonnie Bolling is the editor of Verdad and the author of In the Kingdom of the Sons, winner of the 2011 Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Solo Novo, The Cortland Review, and American Literary Review. She earned an MFA at University of California, Riverside. Currently, she lives in Southern California and Bahrain.