J E F F R E Y H. M A C L A C H L A N
NEPTUNE FLIRTS WITH THE MOON
Soviet postcard, 1960
Did it swell
Next to the stars
you rock thick traps.
a stable hat brim
but the irises—
Kiss me if I'm wrong
but capitalists sip
from the indigenous?
I see white tides
I glisten blue
but your Lenin
If nothing lasts
you be my
Is it cold in here
or just abyss?
I sense you’re
an exhibitionist for
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.
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.