It stared and stared right through them to the world

                               —Jean Valentine

We’re one bead on the nation’s wet skin.
Traffic clears its throat in the mute evening.

On the radio another market pops like a beer can,
with a hiss. History’s such a narrow room.

Rain interrogates the windshield. The man
who’s about to find out he’s your father

seams the minnowing crowd, like a reporter
with a headline. What are you now?

Tiny swarm of ankle bells
in a nest of bone. Already bright

capitals of your vitals landmark
my sleep and promises keep

arriving like pilgrims. They constellate
flickering settlements across an expanding

future. Above the crowd, you’re faceless
on his shoulders. Some teenage pop princess,

face powdered by moth wings, occupies the center
of a chalk diamond. Her anthem glares through

the bomb-shelters of our skulls, sparking
myths, wicks of Roman candles.

 


 

Erin Rodoni‘s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2014, Colorado Review, Verse Daily, Ninth Letter, The Pinch Journal, and Cider Press Review, among others. She was the recipient of a 2013 Intro Journals Award from AWP. She is currently serving as the Poetry Editorial Assistant for Literary Mama.

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