5 November 2008 | Vol. 8, No. 3


The filling station like a blue can

of sardines edged with rose granite,

rope and wooden ore buckets

at the high-water nest of burning grass

in the baking mud of the palo verde.

A giant sloth limp in tractor gears, the vast

related machines of a priest's calculations,

the far river of bodies

with the drowned nun,

her back arched over a tree limb, caked

to white mud—a heavy moth between her legs

lifts across the pitching sulfur

of the approaching night.

Green fruit on a card table.

At the roadside, a small boy

gnawing on corn smiles

with efficient hunger—no one else

is alive for a hundred square miles—

the road ruptured above and below him—

the jaguar smiles back

in a white cap of ash

that is also the night:

he watches

the boy eat, he fears him

and retreats with the mice into the hot banded night.

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About the author:

Norman Dubie's most recent collection of poems, Insomniac Liar of Topo, was just published by Copper Canyon Press. He lives in Arizona.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Norman Dubie at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 8, No. 3, where "Volcano" ran on November 5, 2008. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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