Oct/Nov 2007 Poetry Special Feature

Two Word Poems

by Jayne Pupek


I tripped over gravel and cut open my toe.
Blood oozed, leaving a trail in the woods.
A wolf followed me home. The howling
outside my window left me feeling
transparent and alone.
When I was six, something came over me
like a gray veil of smoke.
A premonition: the man I'd marry
would leave me, not by accident,
but of his own accord,
choosing a woman with amethyst
eyes and a knack
for saying the right things.
I don't know why
I came to live in these woods.
I should have opted for the sea,
a place where I might string together
boards, hang a shirt, make
a sailboat to take me far away.


An Appearance

Someone once advised you to keep
amethyst inside your house
to ward off the spirit of drunkenness.
Since your alcoholic mother
took her own life when she turned forty,
you figure a few purple stones couldn't hurt.
Your rootless husband left on a sailboat
and won't return before June. Last night,
you dreamed he impregnated a mermaid.
Now she wants child support.
A fetus sprouts downy limbs
inside your own belly, large
and transparent as a fish bowl.
You wake thirsty and decide
this wasn't a dream, but a premonition.
Someone close to you is going to drown,
perhaps not literally, but either way,
ruination is headed this way. No amount of salt
sprinkled on the sidewalk will stop it.
Bowls filled with stones won't keep away
what's standing outside your door.


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