Our Flesh
John Poch (bio)

Boring as a vulture shadow, occasional and reliable,
maybe a blink which surprises, the flesh tries.
And here we are again sweating
by the buckets or by the pool, in the flesh.
Yet might we want a nice nest despite heaven
and, like the Great-crested Flycatcher, weave
a sloughed snake skin in to make fun of sin?
Snag it from a Cottonmouth whose head newly shed
waits like a god or a hood ornament, king of macadam,
pretend friend to Adam, to the Pigmy mouse who
at night makes a little pile of pebbles and each morning
licks up the dew as some of us drink bitterly our coffee.
These days we are all connoisseurs of drought.

On a walk through the dust after breakfast, I imagined
this Cottonmouth coiled and lost in thought like a pretty girl
watching TV, curled up on a couch, but then the dream
turned and I saw the snake levitate in the humid blue
of the Hill Country sky hanging there so I thought
I should destroy it, and then I thought of that scripture:
a cloud the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.
Was I imagining the end of days or the prescient end
of the year’s drought here in the dull apocalypse
we call the flesh, the sad fact we call the world, 2011.

Cheer up. We don’t need nature’s illustration.
The flesh is a fine hotel for love, if not a temple
where you can come and fall on your face
before a seemingly empty throne.



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