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  • Gary Bolick

A Venus Lives Just East of Reno



cacklin’ ezzie is made of earth and cotton

manure and plastic roses


she grows light: a garden of frying pans

warped, brillo-worn and grainy . . . an acre of flat-faced, pock-marked

sentries planted to catch and simmer the sunset’s

oily shavings . . .


a sight and scent that draws

the eyes and ears of every mon (or is it man?) grel

within miles:

t-shirted, bay-windowed, packed and clustered in truck, jeep and

motorcycle,

flying across the desert, ignoring the hunter’s horn,

tick infested and gritty,

heavy with fart and tobacco laced howls of desire

and wonder . . . a little fear (sign of a good dog)

gathering, pointing, scratching, waiting and grooming,

east of some familiar place each wants

to forget as they

spit and rhapsodize about tail and bush

until the dying sun is celebrated

with another twelve pack of

beer bottles exploding . . .


east of the city, away in the desert where

only a

“perfect crazy like -this one- could thrive.”


ezzie laughs on


torching her windows:

candles caged in blown out T.V.picture tubes:

the thin, yellow-gray petals of light

restless with fetal-like distortion,

massaging the spreading twilight

turning each rectangle

into a fox’s ruse:

a dangling pendant to seize and hold

the mongrels’ collective stare



transfixed and panting

the slide and pop of each eyelid

the extended tongues become more

question than

answer to,


“who or what had to die to make her like this?”


ezzie laughs on


four a. m.: the only hour capable of

dis-arming

her desire,

ezzie rises and climbs up onto her rooftop

where in olive oil and early morning alabaster

she bathes,

the sweep and flutter of her hand luring out

the silence and the wonder of

the star-infested black above and below

as each eye sparkles . . . . watching . . .

her iridescent body

shine


the mongrels howl and

bark until the last of the moonlight

delivers a glimpse of a desert goddess

born of the whispers and desires men dream to

know since they were little boys

staring into the bedroom window

images that always tease more than

deliver . . . then . . .

fade (always too quickly)

and (suddenly)

the mystery

disappears . . . so they continue to


loiter and howl

until the last

red taillight

of each,

truck, jeep and

motorcycle

recedes into

to the first

stirring of light . . .

of a (dreaded) new day

none want to face


and ezzie?


she sings (then)

chants (and) smiles into the

dawn,

as the moon

obediently bows

before

kissing the

desert floor

beneath

her

the sight of it moving


ezzie to

sigh, then

sleep

until the fading light

returns and a venus

rises up


once more












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