By Linette Marie Allen
I’m dragging my body through a field of poppies
—death apple, truth lemon, justice grape.
I swallow my feet and see my head; my head is a paintbrush
sopped with brown; my head is graffitti for soil.
I swivel and watch the sky watching me—wish I could stop this
drag; wish I could drop this
this body. Forget the sky!
Who needs the sky anyway?
The sky is a maniac; an art fiend; a French postcard
pushing yellow or light yellow or gray yellow or
green yellow or black yellow or purple
yellow, or yellow yellow at the cocking of the cock, at the gong
of dawn, bow & arrow firing a certain color to the
morning after morning
& in this mess of dragon, I see myself dragging myself through a
field of poppies; yes, the same damn poppies! Delilah-red
of saffron, dabs of pink, Vergina-green. This green’s the fir of pain, of
Pelewan. It warms my feet, wets it, at the speed that I crush it,
rushing through the fields—body
limp as Gotti on a Friday,
looking over creation, watching fields of poppies—Olympians? carrying
nothing but white gold & red gold & blue gold & black
gold—gold gold—and it resembling royalty: hoarsmoke, silver
crowns in procession, little children dragging the bodies of
parents, nobody saying a word, God especially,
everyone grazing knees,
the aproned sky
painting the thing behind the thing.
Linette Marie Allen is earning an MFA in creative writing and the publishing arts at the University of Baltimore. She is the recipient of a Turner Research and Travel Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, The Bangalore Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She writes overlooking the city with her imaginary cat Stormy.