Kitchen table. Mid-January.
Sugar dissolves in coffee.
Sweetens the bitterness.
Your face. Your mouth.
They aren't going to the same lengths any more.
They're content to occasionally toss out an opinion.
Snow smothers the yard and beyond.
It's day out but it creeps around like darkness.
It's as if we haven't woken yet.
As if life is one long delayed reaction to being born.
I will need to make tracks in that snow.
The perfect surface can't last forever.
I have a job to do.
Chop wood. Sweep up the shadows.
You will merely muse.
Spend the day basically philosophical.
I’ll be up to my knees in that white stuff.
It turns the simplest sprint into a marathon.
I will not ask myself
"Do you still love me?"
Not with the wind so bitter.
Not with the details buried,
the temperature imprudent.
night of the roach invasion
your disgust yanked tight,
our sacred goods profaned -
my love of all living things giving ground
even before the first spray,
the volley of rolled-up newspaper -
kitchen tiles like living mosaics -
you swatted -
an hour's glimpse at what we're both prepared to do
we swept up the bodies -
you're all invited to our house-warming party -
just picture the battles behind all this -
imagine the brooms.
SNAKE IN THE GRASS
Faint hissing from an unknown path;
a snake - the hunger of the body
that never questions.
I close my eyes.
I listen. I hear.
The snake moves its secret mass.
In tall grass, I hail shudder and glide.
I won't give you away.
Besides, you grip me between your jaws.
You show me glimpses
of the long dark tunnel to your stomach,
I feel your breath,
the acids of down below.
So let our shared compassion on this night
relax the both of us.
Your slither is no dagger.
My long blue shadow bears no axe.
John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Oyez Review, Rockhurst Review and Spindrift with work upcoming in New Plains Review, Big Muddy Review, Willow Review and Louisiana Literature.