One Poem

Charles Harper Webb

          —For H.P.

"Airplanes have sliced open its blue skin," someone yells. "Bandage it in clouds before it dies!"

"The air has breathed poison and is hemorrhaging," someone warns. "Styptic pencil rockets are our only hope."

"The sky's a woman," someone snaps. "Shut your eyes. Give her some privacy."

"God has a nosebleed," someone believes. "If He lies down and puts His head back, He'll be fine."

"Not one God—gods!" someone proclaims. "They've sacrificed a constellation. Bigger gods are angry. There'll be hell to pay."

Rivers flow red as open veins to viscous seas. The moon, a glowing cherry coughdrop, soars. The temperature dives.

Lacy, geometric scabs drift down.

Charles Harper Webb

Charles Harper Webb's book Amplified Dog won the Saltman Prize for Poetry and was published in 2006 by Red Hen Press. His book of prose poems, Hot Popsicles, was published in 2005 by the University of Wisconsin Press. A Recipient of grants from the Whiting and Guggenheim foundations, he directs Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach.