poem index

A Peacock in Spring

Joyelle McSweeney
Makes derangéd love
To the muddy hill. Shoots of green knocked sideways
On a factory floor. Next to the stopflood
Retaining wall, sprung rhythm.  Just as
A center for Islamic banking
Furls green writing like a blooming branch across the screen, visible 
Pop-up ad of the market or 
green fuse. In a wiry flash,
A living goddess with a threefoot eye
Bends o'er her spreadflat copybook, contemplating a career at maths.
I've always been good at maths,
And how they multiply, and how they multiply, and how they
Lock in a pop-fly, snag the interface, shatter the salary cap,
Thwack. Into the tanned glove, a second piece
Of hide.  It's spring, tumors and mushroom caps pop-up, the avatar
Salary man can't muster himself to grope the 
Pixilated schoolgirl. Sad subways.
Before the Senate panel, the discredited chairman holds
You gotta keep on dancing
Keep on dancing
Keep on dancing til the music stops.  Amen, says the peacock,
Shifting his attentions now to the wall. He shrugs obscenely green,
Obscenely jewel-toned, obscenely neck-like,
An obscene grandeur and an obscene decadency,
A screen, a mask, a dance,
A thousand green-groping eyes. Lapse and bless
With your largesse, you antique
commode, you gossiping 
fairground—
(And now a common bird launches itself at my window
A defunct grenade from Spring's blackmarket shouldermount
Because I do not know its name
And do not wish to watch it stagger from air to glass
I hear it re-enunciate
& grow increasingly garbled & go
On outside the 
poem that would be increasingly
inside, let me in.
Where my sleek unbidden brow breaks blood upon the panel, breaks
beads amid the streaks of let me 
in and let me in)

Copyright © 2010 by Joyelle McSweeney. Used with permission of the author.

Joyelle McSweeney

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