Somewhere south of Henderson, there's a road with my name on it. You've seen it
flying into LA, line to the horizon like the score on a batard. When I met her
at the Farmer's Market, she asked me how two men could bark at a rusting dog.
A shoe-shiner called me Strawberry once and it stuck. I'm still partial to heat
and the drowsiness of house flowers. I don't know how to get older, I smell
vanilla in the lift. Granted, the coin flips from the banker's hand to the mutt's
mouth, but it's my finger on the latch. Regimen lost its appeal on a technicality.
You say the stars treat us like victims, the moon pipes up with tales of craters.
I'm watching Mars like a Porterhouse. There's always a contingent
of fluffers between the made men and the blameless. I won a Spelling Bee
when I was nine. The word was kimono and I sounded it out. It's not like
seeing them on the walls of a widower. That's the sun on the clouds.
You could put your finger on the important parts. Blood down
the hindquarter, flick of a tail. The kind of straight line that isn't
straight.  It isn't even a line.

Jeffery Bahr


There's a boy in my living room eating pushpops,
flags hanging from his gym shorts. Over his shoulder,
Rob and Laura square off, the dog has fleas,
its name is Lucky. Upstairs, my uncle succumbs
in the bathtub, the knife wiped twice and stolen
from the Masai in the laundry room who upends, then
tosses a gourd onto linoleum, jumps suddenly, rusted lips.
That firing squad in my closet and the nameless in the basement
who've left the light on again, caught up in poppies. A nine-year old
girl runs a shuttle through a Shiraz, rustle and rack in my study, leaving
me the backyard to grill two small fish as the ragged multitude sag
against the fence the Architectural Committee approved 3 to 2. A dove
hovers, Ark cockeyed on Pike's Peak, no surprise for either
of us, paraphrasing Frost. Snow drifts over infidels throwing bones
by the calamus, I'm out of lighter fluid anyway. Murder
hasn't been invented yet and I haven't finished Ulysses,
who's half-sacked in a beanbag watching CBS. Some snake
and I take turns catnapping, one eye on the future.

Jeffery Bahr
JEFFERY BAHR lives in Colorado and has work published or upcoming in Black Warrior Review, Chelsea, Green Mountains Review, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner and Quarterly West.  A complete list of publications is available at his website.
The Adirondack Review