restricted access A Sliver of Heat
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A Sliver of Heat

From the tar bubbles comes the Cyclops sun.Come grasshoppers, sleeveless girls, yellowsImbued with the cries of childhood.

from the white birch trees’ inset eyesComes the burn-woundOf remembered infant-song.

There grasshoppers, strewn like paper clips,Flew up when footfalls disturbed dead calm.Wings so light it seemed they were made of paper

Appeared to glide in childhood.At night the earth collided with comet hairAnd you wanted to tip the Milky Way

Into your parched throat, drain the creamAs well as all that curdled in argumentGrown full with midday.

From the burn-wound of childhoodWhere cicadas, second-hand cars, oil siphonedInto engines where, a storm came

And dropped its thunder-rain.There the rainbow would swim grudginglyIn a little pool of grease. [End Page 16]

Judith Skillman

Judith Skillman’s new books are The Phoenix—New & Selected Poems 2007-2013 (Dream Horse Press) and Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry (Lummox Press). Her poems and collaborative translations have appeared in Cimarron Review, FIELD, Ezra, Seneca Review, The Iowa Review, and others. She is the recipient of an award from the Academy of American Poets for Storm (Blue Begonia Press). Two of her collections also have been finalists for the Washington State Book Award. Visit