Page 18 - Vol. VI #10
P. 18

 JoShua JoneS
Sunning her saltwater
hair over the deck rails, eyes closed and twitching, my wife
asks me what I’m thinking, and has to ask twice before I hear her
over the ferry’s engine.
I say I don’t know because one of the women in Pompeii—the one whose rings dyed
her finger bones the green
of blanched asparagus—made me
think of pulling the watch from my wrist and tossing it into the Mediterranean
to harness the trajectory of loss
for once, but I don’t
want to sound dramatic.
So I tell her
I’m picturing a tiny Christ
molding sparrows from clay,
carving the spines in their feathers
with a single long
nail on his right pinky
and polishing the curve of their beaks
with spit, breathing on them
to show himself the world obeys.
One darts around the yard before
it perches in the eaves of Joseph’s workshop while the other bobs
off to collect thatch for their nest
to warm little adobe eggs—and then Mary
rounds the corner, panics, and, seeing another one of her son’s ceramic
monsters, clubs it out of the air
with an open palm.
Christ picks his
dumb creation up, fuses the crack
in its skull and molds
a new pair of legs. He lofts it
over the roof where it hangs a moment and bursts in a puff of fine, red dust.
Jones received his MFA from UMass Boston and is pursuing a PhD at the University of North Texas. His poems have ap- peared in The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, and The Windhover, among others. He has written book reviews for The American Literary Review, The Boiler, and The Breakwater Review.

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