Spring 1989, Volume 6.1

All Souls Day

The click of balls on the pool table
stitches me to my stool.
Five miners jostle, let the spring door slam
and sit down in their coats.

"If it starts," she says, and laughs,
"run in the john
and hold the door shut with your feet."

The ugly one is voiced
like D-9 tracks on sandstone, rasps
and booms to the bar
how he whipped his first wife's ass
for drinking beer with cowboys,

cracks his gapped grin over her hands,
soft and brown, uncapping his first beer,
glares, remembering she sleeps with me.
She smiles as canyons smile
at conquerors, tenders his drink,
reserves herself.

I find fascination in my beer:
how the bubbles form and rise,
burst and disappear.

The silence roars and rushes.
Under her old, white sweater her breasts
are full and distant as clouds.
Her hung purse swings as she brushes past,
handwoven, brown and tan, rough wool
with a pattern of blue doves.

Ferron, Utah