Two Poems by Michael Kinnaird.
For a Friend, Lost in Time
'you're a blessing in my life'
'i wonder how i learned to whistle'
on our stomachs,
smoking camel lights
with a tin cup ashtray
on the moonlit windowsill, flush
with the mattress on the second floor,
smoke curling out the window
of the house off Tiger Mountain Road.
if i closed my eyes i could barely tell the difference
between the silk nightgown
and the smooth-water surface of her skin.
she brushed her hair with rosemary oil
her eyes were perfectly empty and gray
the Pleiades were hers
along with a moonstone necklace
in the cool warm wind of season's change.
Reading on the Roof
Saturdays Dad worked the odd jobs, the roofing, the cabinets, broken screen doors,
he took us boys with him one at a time as helpers,
i'm on the ladder to a roof, (i can't remember whose,
too many roofs in Randlett to remember,
but the name "Mrs. Manley" comes to mind--)
i have that same book in my overall's pocket, Dad asks me,
"What's that you've been reading so long?"
I answer, '"The Martian Chronicles," by Ray Bradbury.'
"What's it about?"
He heard about the last man on Mars, how he never answered the phone,
he heard about how we killed the Martians but didn't really mean to,
we talked about the evacuation chapter, the tall ships sailing across the sand
and how the rocket descriptions were different from Arthur C. Clarke's,
I didn't help much on Mrs. Manley's roof, i walked circles, balanced,
stepped around him while he hammered,
the sun growing red, the light lower, squinting,
still reading "The Martian Chronicles" to Dad.
Michael Kinnaird's work has appeared frequently in Offcourse:
Issue #5, Fall 1999 After the Sandwich
Issue #7, Summer 2000 "Collecting skulls" and "The Secret Life of Carousel Horses":
Issue #11, Fall 2001 Three Poems
Issue #14, Summer 2002 On the Eighteenth Anniversary of your Imminent Destruction,"
Issue # 17, Summer 2003 Interim, Two Poems
Issue #18, Fall 2003 Two Poems
Issue #20, Summer 2004 Two Poems
Issue #26, March 2006 Two Poems & a Short Story.
Issue #27, July 2006 "Story without Pages" and "Fletcher's Hill"
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