excerpt: Color by Numbers (The Landscape Set)
The deer droppings are here and the rooster’s
memory of its birth is here too.
They glisten, pink, as if they are adescribed
in a dumb kid’s science report or a poem.
In the corner, the moon removes
its glow in the dark condom.
Cowboys make the best presidents,
the billboard declares. Not being a ghost myself,
I believe it when I hear the color orange contains
the chewed gum of only the happiest children
Two toddlers lick powdered candy by the aqua
painted swimming pool. I wish I was one of those
purple bikini ladies who read magazines
about difficult sex positions while their children
smash into each other in the wading pool.
Instead, I am the number three around the white
unpainted space above the head of the tall
teenager who lingers on the ladder to the high dive.
She’s thinking again about how
it’s possible to think about not thinking.
This blue may as well be the final arbiter of summer.
You’d have to be a virgin to care where it ends.
Joanna Fuhrman is the author of two books of poems: Freud in Brooklyn (Hanging Loose 2000), and Ugh Ugh Ocean (forthcoming, spring 2003). She is the Monday night readings coordinator for the Poetry Project at Saint Mark’s Church.