I pull gumdrop from gunpowder, catch
Nazi in a list of thirty warning signs
of menopause. I skim the pages of a journal
take bisexual from bilingual, intersection
from Czech and Mexican immigrants.
Too often I strike God
on the keyboard when I mean good,
sold, when all I wanted was soul.
A woman from Devon, a feather her fate,
was tricked by wind. Wingless
she wrecked to beach below.
Her epic noted, the papers advise us
Read the signs! but she is already
a hanged sister; hindsight has hid things
in the once tepid, tonic deep.
Some discern death in a martini, sex
on a Ritz. Maybe it’s simply a nimbus ill,
subliminal conspiracy embedded while we sleep,
learning our misread dream is
merely a mad rise, a poetic end.
What Story of Loss
—for Dwight Clark
Need Somebody to Love
I’ve picked each fruit under strawberry leaves
planted my Queen of the Night
and now this sliver of bark won’t budge
for love, nor money, nor squeeze
of tweezers, like the stinger left
after the death of the bee. The Chablis’
gone to my head, and Mercury
dead these nineteen years. I was
so sorry to see him leave,
wanted Jackson back, too,
though he dangled his son high
above the maddening fans. Tomorrow
it may rain. Some things arrive
with faith. Its black cap
aflame, the tulip carries its secret
sex in its mouth. Many times
I’ve visited this arena, have sat
at the right hand side. Tonight
I need somebody to raise
Freddie from his grave, give him back
his microphone, his white skin-tight
body suit, his love. These berries
in my bowl are cold, hold their juice
only so long. Oh thorn in my flesh, pollen
on the stamens, my wine-heavy mind.
Ronda Broatch is the author of Shedding Our Skins (Finishing Line Press, 2008), and Some Other Eden (2005). Ronda is the recipient of a 2007 Artist Trust GAP Grant, and is poetry editor for Crab Creek Review.