When the Cicadas Return









Pocket Series

About Us


Submission Guidelines



Graduating From Eternity
by John Goode

Cleopatra in Traffic
        for C.N.B.

I stared into the dead blue sex of her eyes.
They haunted catacombs.
Maniacal flowers grew giant bells of pollen.
A tender savage followed her scent to the edge of a dried up ocean.

I looked into the soundless milk of her skin.
Raw silk raced on curves of smoke.
A militant country sought a ransom in scarves.
Her legs became defiant outposts.

I whispered into her eyes three weeks of courage.

I longed to touch the gaunt drum of her stomach,
to breathe the smoking column of her throat,
the succulent red bell her lips composed at the face of any language.

In each twisted ear I wanted to plant a tongue         with my name in brail
coaxing her toward me
where her black hair might spread          like an orchestra of fertile spiders
biting my lips like anarchy.


Where she could gather like a mute cloud          ponderous and thick
and swollen          her pale body vessel for a currency in lust.

I stole for her          bracelets of wine
and gaudy necklaces beaded with the slow fever of morphine.

Long blank silences of nitrous enveloped her.

The street pawed her like a bad transmission
and she captured it
                                in living orange.

She inhaled pharmacies.

Her mouth opened on the ends of sentences like a heart-shaped bomb.

Cold green mountains stood up.
The wind wrote a letter in fire.

Traffic swayed in agony at the temple of her hips.

She beat off brick.

Glass drank her body like an open vein of water.

She broke codes behind the eyes of commuters.

She flirted with the thick mustache of gasoline
and I chained myself to her waking.

I stared into the starving calculus of her eyes
where antiseptic numbers drummed for sleep
and hospitals rolled like empty cars.

I smelled rain.
I smelled autumn burning.
I smelled the wilderness that grew inside the animal of her mind
where she dreamed hands without rings racing her skin like desultory winters.

Where she surrendered years of wisdom
and opened her legs like the soft white teeth of a swimming pool,
and painted a circle at the bottom

where her heart beat like a wild penny

and no one ever touched.