Harmonious Earth

John Spaulding

The stars shine tonight
like lights in vinegar.
Moonlight burns the trees.

You are visited only
by my hands, my two pale friends.
A blue snow keeps us together.

And the cries of animals.
We melt ice on the windows
to watch the night.

Buckets of oranges, oranges for breakfast.
And pork.
And small white pills.

We arrive home and
everything seems made of glass.
Sweat fills our shoes.

Flowers of fear bloom and fall.
The house is damaged—pieces
of redwood quiver in our palms.

The bedroom shines like meat.
Juicy with broken windows,
torn smiles.

We listen to the radio
and a cold wind
rifles our blood.

We are gorged with music.
Like fat flowers.  Or black
cabbages sinking into the earth.

The heat oppresses.
Strings of red worms
sail by.  Our skin

turns sallow, then pale chocolate.
Like noble rot or high meat
we distend and bloat

in the spoilage of our lives.
At night we find each other alone.
Go to bed hungry.


Art by Evie Lovett

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John Spaulding was born in New Hampshire and grew up in Vermont. He earned degrees in English and psychology and earned a PhD in psychology from the University of Arizona, Tucson. He has worked as a psychologist for the Phoenix Indian Medical Center and the Puget Sound Service Unit of Indian Health Services.

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