D.A. Powell
Summer of My Bone Density Test

The cottony skirts of the Matilija poppies

            will wax old quickly,

as the panniers of yesteryear have done.


Carbs will turn to sugars, and sugars to fats,

so even the most hopelessly beautiful man

            might soften and dwindle.


But isn’t everything impossible to resist

what makes the living possible?

        And isn’t there a Paradise

                in the foothills above Oroville.

Formerly unincorporated Poverty Ridge.

            You’ll have to go with me sometime.


“Decent food despite remote location,”

Zagat might say, if Zagat cared to come

          crunch an apple some slow afternoon.


You’ll get a choice of sides with every entrée.

            You’d love the sweet potato fries.

In which case, I recommend the salmon.


And the wild salmon will return to the brook.

            The hives will sit fat with honey.

The least shall be exalted. Wow, you’ll think,

that could have been so much worse than it was.


I die a little all the time. And so do you.

            So do we all. It’s the little things

like that that keep us from getting saturated

in the panjuices of loneliness.


Otherwise, it’s a cookout. A veritable meatfest.

                        We light the charcoal,

            and the charcoal warms our little hearts.


We are practically at the bedroom door of disclosure.

            You’ve got me in this paper dress,

                        just the way you’ve imagined.


I. Boy. Tell. Telephone. Prompt, please. Can’t

         tell, something something, delight.

Oh, I used to be so good at this.

Turn on one of your machines, then, Jacky boy.

Tell me how much I’ve got to lose.

Found In Volume 40, No. 03
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D.A. Powell
About the Author

D.A. Powell’s collections of poetry include Tea, (1998), Lunch (2000), and Cocktails (2004).  Lunch was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and Cocktails was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. He currently teaches at the University of San Francisco, and edits the online magazine Electronic Poetry Review.