Notes on Summer

Michael Gross


e. Old man foresaw

the comely feet of warrior

women nailing a poster

to the neo-classical

columns, like a teabag

of flat surfaces

on edge and twisted

to the shapes of apples

and rolled to rib-

like horns worn

ceremonially at the witch

wedding, under a moon

the color of the ancient

tree-sap which caught

the mosquito, an image

of such minuteness,

& of the least of my

brothers, the small

square-inchage of skin:

the skins of boys don’t

flake off in bed to dust,

but unravel like

the kimonos of Japan,

and reveal the

undressing of organs first,

then a man: the onion

white, the anti-raven:

moons over Broadway.

f. Holy be thy Grandson,

hollowing out his head

with the only stick left

in town, swearing at

each spoonful of onlookers

who wail at the walls

of his eyes, begging

for sacrificial smoke

to cloud the day

into thunderstorms of

treetops plumbing from

the seeds of the eye’s

black beetle, the sprouting

pupil, blooming with

the gray billows of

the rest of the village

in awe at how big his

face has been, a dinner

plate swallowing the

dinner table, his

white teeth like bright

stones cupped in the

hand of his jaw, gnash

at the closest hand that

feeds, a Mexican vendor

selling his silvery

knives to every sun-

soaker. Hiding in the

old home’s corner, a tiny

memory mouse, scratching

for some crumbs, the

smallest expressions,

and the echoes of the

murmurs compound into

the dictionary of

remember, his family cut

into pieces of leaves:

raked under the darkest cloud.

g. The bee on the bulb

denudes and a flow of

oratories glass the

pond upon which sink

a thousand children

through the ice, seeing

antithesis to the mortal,

floating unaided at the

edge of land and sea.

A scurry of footprints

like fish bones

fingered in the sand

& the only cry of the

gulls we hear is the

mother, swallowed inside

the season: a swarm of

stings on flower heads.

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