Poetry 2012 / Volume 43

Good Weather in the Domain of Queen Mab — John Thornburg

You find Tina outside with cigarette breath.
She challenges you to a winter foot race
out to the sledding hill and back and you accept
the air thin but prickly like thistles and thorns
by the time you have to jump the fence your shoes and ankles
are soaked

if you lose she’ll give you cocoa and crackers
but victory yields three saccharine kisses
on the corner of your mouth

Tiny races dirty to the finish line. She’ll throw snow in your face
claim she slipped. The light of the moon makes the fields silver
and in the darkness of the pines you’ll forget
what color are her eyes

You and Tina, walking
shoulder to shoulder, overcast
snow pending and she looks at you funny
a corner lifts, a cloud parts and for a second
she sees the tiger you conceal beneath your arm

like through the cracks in a decayed barn
she glimpses a fire flash of orange, blind-shadow stripes

she reminds you that she was once wild
the dirt-road becomes a dance floor,
mute pastures become a bar of Frank Sinatra
and you slow dance beneath the cold-front’s edge
remembering how to walk on all fours.

One thought on “Good Weather in the Domain of Queen Mab — John Thornburg

  1. Pingback: Current Issue: Volume 43, Number 1 — Poetry Issue, Fall 2012 | Coe Review

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