Poetry by Joan McNerney

That was the name of a paint
can from J&M Hardware.
With sweat lingering on her
face, she colored her room.
Tinted now like insides of
ripe plums, like perfect grapes.
When the sizzling lemon sun
dropped from heaven…night
became moist and black.
Her fan whirled thick air
stained with cigarettes
coffee, turpentine, white wine.
She sank into her wicker couch
as fog horns trail the horizon.
Locust screech relentlessly for water
always wanting more more more water.
Closing her eyes, remembering him
now tasting the feast of his smile.

The Subliminal Room

That weepy October
marigolds were so full.
I made an omelet with
them.  Do you remember?
All November, leaves
mixed with rain, making
streets slippery.  We
listened mostly to Chopin.

I confessed to you
how I loved Russian
poets and waited for
a silent revolution,
revealing my childhood
possessed by rosaries
and nuns chanting Ave,
Ave, Ave Maria.  “Your
navel exudes the warmth
of 10,000 suns”, you said.
We still live in this
subliminal room.
Jonah did not want to
leave the whale’s stomach.
We continue trying to
decipher Chopin.  Your
eyes are two bunches of
morning glories.  Sometimes
the sky is so violet.
Will we ever live by the
sea, Michael, and eat
carrots?  I do not want
my sight to fail.  Hurry,
the dew is drying on the


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