You hang, head down, a fiend’s joke
dangling in a cave.
Our words fill the hollows with lightning, rain,
bat clicks. When you bite into my ribs,
drums echo against the banks of the river.
I clap together this numbskull’s grin
and swallow the dank air to keep from
those wild, yellow curls are lost to me.
You wait, smelling, almost hearing
blood, this damp earth where I bend over.
Colleen Payton is a dance critic and teacher of college English and humanities. Her poetry has appeared in The King's English, Oklahoma Today and Bluestem magazines, among other publications.