J E F F R E Y  H.  M A C L A C H L A N

2 poems

NEPTUNE FLIRTS WITH THE MOON

Soviet postcard, 1960

Did it swell
when you
phased into
crescent rays?

Next to the stars
you rock thick traps.

I'm lost.
Can you
provide
directions
to lowland
alumina?

My rings
assemble
a stable hat brim
but the irises—
jubilance dilates
helium rime.

Kiss me if I'm wrong
but capitalists sip
from the indigenous?

I see white tides
pantomime
your shimmy.

I glisten blue
but your Lenin
neckerchief
embellishes
cherry gloam.

If nothing lasts
forever, will
you be my
nothing?

Is it cold in here

or just abyss?

I sense you’re

an exhibitionist for

galactic wreckage.


You barely show

your age. Are you

on a bourgeois fast?


OWL & HOOK


Soviet safety poster, 1977

The night the owl met the industrial hook, the upside-
down question mark said don't work in the dark

and the owl's eyes ripened into lemon quartz
to flashlight comrade shadows approaching her beau.

Ryazan nights are tense. The sky's lavender static
from nervous brush strokes makes her beak

screech louder than intended. Relationships
require possession, thinks


the owl. This is luxury in the communist bloc.
Massaged by lunar feathers to soften damaged glamour.


Half a mile away, a wood mouse prays
with a blonde girl and a bonfire.

If I can't hunt, how will I be free? asks the owl.
I will lower you when necessary, says the hook.


Text Title

Jeffrey H. MacLachlan also has recent work in New Ohio Review, The Meadow, Swamp Ape Review, among others. He is a Senior Lecturer of literature at Georgia College & State University.