ON THE EVE OF MY BECOMING A FATHER
By Leo Connellan
I have turned now in the night and
all my blown-away kisses of our familiar love
with the words and sillinesses
always thrust by natures drive,
lost in the loneliness of our sighs
in the dark, in darkness even with
blazing lights on and booze
to slobber down our failure
so we could turn on our pillows
as if we did not know each other
We had been every place but this
and our travel folders were worn out.
I had been about to hang up my gun
but the hammer shot one spark into the moon,
so magnificent, it is beyond me.
A HEN CROSSING A ROAD
By Leo Connellan
Frenzied Sunday dinner
sensing the way we size her up
with the sensuous look of anticipating pigs
waiting to wallow our faces in her flesh.
Bobs, weaves, back and forth
from the yard gravel too near the chopping block;
darts no straight path across
the old dusty dirt pebbled road and comes back
noncommittal, flapping courageous wings.
When the Ax falls
refuses to be dead until she has run her blood out.
From CROSSING AMERICA
By Leo Connellan
On the highway to Vegas,
winter in your nose.
Off the road birds of death men
hovering over fires like icicles
thawing over a matchbook.
Snow over the pass. It was
no place for a young dumbbell.
These were numbered men
looking for fresh youth to turn over
like Indians surrendered deer
their deaths decided without
moving the wind. I turned back.
Sheriff of Oxford, Mississippi wouldn't
give us a bed unless we committed a crime.
But the wife of a hard hotel owner let us
leave our luggage for sleep. A car stopped
to my thumb but when I grabbed the door an
electric jolt hit me. An Oxford priest gave
us money. I even forget his face and never
got it back to him. On the back of a pick-up
truck, bouncing around straw as he drove fast
through Tennessee murdering me as much as he
dared,and my lady up in his cab while
he weighed our lives with his gas pedal
foot and whether to take her and dump me.
No, not again in the night,
terror and us in camps.
I am in the woods alone with you
Red Robin. Hear the bulldozers
shaving our forest away for a drive-in,
death is waiting where delicate freedom
bloomed. Open space keeps screams futile.
Stop it now! Stop even the idea, the chance,
camps again, a Borman out
of the jungle into the White House
with a paint job of blood.
What was the immigrant that his own children
cut open earth of his grave
and wet dust of his bones
with innocent blood of his own kind.
It was just around the corner from night.
The town was a half block stuck in the middle of cornstalks.
And in daylight heat wrung your breath
until strangers separated like chaff dropped over.
Early morning just touched blackness now,
but it was as if the town knew I was there and
turned on all its lights. Sun exploded
on long green fields with yellow corn peeking.
A dog barked in a house at my unknown scent. It was then
I sat on the seat of my suitcase and wrote you a postcard,
feeling I bought my living as it slipped into the mailbox
as human beings started moving about me like a decided jury.
The town came out to see me in pairs of overalled men,
resentment in their eyes and I sat down in their diner over coffee
absolutely terrified and the coffee turned into ham and eggs
to show solvency to their invisible rope.
It was a town behind me in the shifting of the next rides gears
and wed be in miles of fields of corn, yellow through green.
But now I hovered on the whim of human frailty
where all my knowledge might not mean anything.
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