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John McKernan

Nude Egg



Fayetteville Arkansas    Highway 71
            North   Midnight walk past the water tower
with its Christmas light crown of thorns    Wind clicking
            bulbs to a steady

beat   A blue one’s faulty connect sparks orange
            then blue    Far off the Bee Gees new
Boy Scout Handbook on staying alive hisses
            in red bread truck exhaust

How did I get seven mosquito bites
            – Spider bites? – on my neck & skull?
A bakery window full of old wedding cakes
            At the party tonight

someone kept talking about No Exit

            The drunk dwarf claimed he’d
memorized all of Howl    Side roads no wider
            than a bike path slide

to thread lifting a slow almost soundless
            hallucination   It is great
pleasure
to stand upright after grape vodka
            A motorcycle in rain

glides by in transparent film    Its shadow
            a form of ballet      Musical

notes in orange spray paint fill the back side
            of the Cheetos billboard

Pink shirts and blue jeans drying on a clothes line
            guarded by a sleeping Doberman
Last night was quieter    On this same walk
            I saw a nude girl

hitchhiking toward Rogers    Her thumb bright
            in purple Taco Bell
neon    I didn’t have a car so I
            was mute as a pebble

When the egg-truck driver hit the brakes
            a tire squeal fishtailed in
a cloud of pink light    Followed by a kind
            of an inside-out

silence approaching the slow curve of thousands
            of broken egg shells   Not one in
the shape of a star     What’s a sea gull doing in
                         this church parking lot?

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