Garrett Alan Fees
says that an apple is an insignia.
We live down the street from the old country club,
where the pool's surface will shred your feet
and they serve a social lunch
of fried chicken and potato salad every
Saturday between Easter and Labor Day.
Common sense tells teenagers
that TV is our nation's identity
and collective conscious.
They testify to this hegemony
in self-absorbed personal ideologies
of bands and corporate logos
scrawled across their lives.
The country club's golf course appears simple,
treeless, and flat as we drive by.
Some old boy wearing plaid slacks in 100-plus degrees
peers at us from beneath a visor and tinted bifocals.
He holds a three iron in his hand and his gaze
carefully takes heed of the focusing sun
as he swishes his water bottle and bites
into a green apple. We turn onto our street
where tall sycamores line the lonely road
all the way to the middle of our yard.
Scattered in the shade, we see a ball, a doll, a bicycle.
Robert C. J. Graves
Muse: Nikita Khruschev
Good God, Nikki, what passion it must take
to unshoe yourself in a roomful of men
who don't speak your language. Then
the imagination to make that shoe a gavel,
to pound and pound and pound a table,
refusing to sit back and take the world's guff.
Was there even a moment's hesitation when
you sent the navymen steaming to Cuba?
What swashbuckle to build A-bombs ninety
miles from an archenemy! To sneak them
under our noses, Miami throbbing across
a negligible strait! I want to believe you
had your people send back daily missives
on how our rhythms seeped across the water—
how, at night, the glow and drum and hum
of a giant, fully peopled country buzzed
their ears. Surely they struggled with shaky
pens, mad to capture it for you who twiddled
your thumbs in an icy and impotent Moscow,
ablaze for the play-by-play, wishing to God
or Stalin it was you on the brink instead.
Miles above the rooftops and backyards and
refrigerators of Pennsylvania, I am dripping.
I am coming home to the sad box of your DNA,
which is all that's left of you. I am bringing
you what I finally have, which is just words.
The plane is moving towards where you were
but you are gone, carried off or running away,
your retreating figure stuck inside my eyelids,
shadowy and pale. You can have all the cookies
and flowers I keep getting. Maybe they'll help
where you are, but I don't think so. I love you
and I can't prove it. I love you and you don't know.