PORTRAIT OF A BROTHER AS A PINK ELEPHANT POKING AROUND A CAMP

in gun-smudged wind mutts flap  
such blank tongues  
hot flags of what funny country?
dew with stopped-up ear
streams down dull tent
we dread those gorillas
breaking distant sticks
with chipmunk feet   good   
beer has cooled in the snowpatch
Michael reads to me in German
toasts to boots
aspirin and blood
O smelly bean can in 5 a.m. light
the morning's pee on a patch of mushrooms
bunkbed or samebed                 
don't think of the subtle obscenity
of family                                                                                                                                                                       
Go.


Nathan Parker



TELL THEM LITTLE MOTH

Your breath of webbed wine, which
Boomed off the walls
Of the padlocked country
Church, shucked
The surrounding keylime
Ponds, chilled the gliding duck
From quacker to anus,
Has reached us in our flushed
Houses.
                      
Your teeth,
Little moth. Which scratched
The flimsy kitchen match, farmed
When our hands were tied,
Tore the toughest of
Frozen kites, frozen screens,
Have rattled down the
Floorvents in glory, they sleep
In our sugar jar.

Your empty bones,
Worn moth, your honey-for-sinews,
Your leafcrusted sockets,
Dear sweet moth
Your medicated ears and their story
Of the stoppered river, the rain can,
The missing port,
Please tell them they have reached us,
Out of breath in our flushed houses.


Nathan Parker
NATHAN PARKER’s recent poems appear or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Colorado Review, Quarterly West, Octopus, Swink, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife, Christie, and one-year-old son, Noah, in Alabama, where he teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Alabama. Right now he is reading and loving two books: G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy and Jean Valentine’s Door in the Mountain.
The Adirondack Review
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award