Sunday, April 24, 2016

Two Poems by Joan Colby

Breaking Up

That night in the car having found her,
His voice shook with bad weather
Like the rain pouring over the wind shield.

You could say she'd been abducted
Though she didn't think that.
She thought How dare you.  When

He put the gun to her head
It wasn't bravery when she said
Just stop.  It was scorn,

It was the broken glass of their misadventure
Into his fantasy of possession,
Her fantasy of love.  Neither authentic.

Seventeen and nineteen,
What could they possibly know.
They knew enough.

She had no use for drama pushing away
The cold metal of his intention
And he began to cry and she didn't care.

Carnival:  Roustabout

Sweaty, swarthy in undershirt
And ripped jeans, needing a shave,
Shifty, still something sexy
In those bronzed muscles, that lean
Torso, grin that promised what you'd
Never imagined until now.  "Hey, red,"
He says helping you into the seat
Of the wheel that will heft you skyward.
He leans too close fastening the bar
Over your bare thighs.  The wheel lifts slowly,
All the people below shrink into
Another dimension.  You are sixteen
And ready for this.  Or maybe not.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, etc.  Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, an Illinois Art Council Fellowship in Literature.  She has published 16 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize.  Colby is also a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review.

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