Rachel Sherwood


Los Angeles/Boys

Two of them
with chests like blond silk
cornsilk hair
stalled in traffic
in the awful heat
they smiled

were they messengers
delivering through the open window
promises or lies or invitations?

Boys are everywhere
at noon they glide
between parched cars
bare broad shoulders
color of chestnut colts

in the poison dusk
they catch falling stars
in their silly mouths
for girls, for each other
their teeth gleam reflections
off blue rayon

Philosophy and the Sunday Funnies

The perfect satisfaction
of wine, cigarettes, the sun
at an afternoon angle
passes through flesh
as if flesh were a sieve
to the direct point
the soul of matter.

Things fix time
although the sun moves
lazily, creating an image
that seems like motive
the wine transmutes
and becomes blood
cigarettes dissolve
to blue threads and ash
but the sun continues
in constant repetition
of its slow and rather boring dance.


From this height
the sunset spans the whole world
before me: houses and trees are shadows
neon flares between them like sudden fire
the freeways run, always
strangely vacant with riderless cars
empty air

the windows up here
refract the blue slate and rose light
making the hills on the horizon collide
with ideas of Sussex, piedmont
or the cold clear wind of the Abruzzi
but that is never what is out there.