Phibby VenableListen

Lion in the Blue Delta

on the delta
the Mississippi in his hands
his horn on his shoulders
a lion in his mouth
a dark karo swirl
in his eyes
his fingers
the nails
of a hungry cat that
punched buttons
air pulled in
exhale blue grass
red lips wet black
rage of love
gone bad
gone, flipped on
the warden
a letter crumbled
blew out the end
of a golden tube
that woman
that freedom
twisted through his
teeth tongue
on the delta
swallowing a lion.

We gather our coins

We gather our coins and pay the booth master
He is outlined in the evening sun, a large shadow of himself
There is a blaze behind his head and a bucket
where the coins rattle at the bottom
It is cloudy and the day continues in a long roadway
that is going straight uphill
Soon we will reach the summit
Already the air is purple and deep
There is a dream catcher looped on a small tree
Lilies, moist with altitude, stretch  upward
At the top, a dark  railing, secures our stop
The sun is a red splash on random rocks
We watch a lone crow that is flying our way
My hand holds a slim branch
There is a hard bound wind beginning to blow
I am weightless and fearful of the  currents
You are watching the crow turn sharply
in a circle toward the horizon.



  The 2River View