Summer 2010

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

Scott Owens


Model Vision

I can’t help but look,
stealing sidelong glances
while his eyes divert to canvas
where he hopes to capture
me or the shell of me.
His hand holds the shape
of paper cranes I’ve seen,
casts puppet shadows
on the floor in between.
His mouth refuses to move,
jaw set, face
a blank countenance,
brow creased,
head tilted left.

I wonder what he’s thinking,
how it is he doesn’t see
the naked body before him,
what tools he’s used
to quell desire or shame,
what hope he has to see
to something deeper
when blind to surface being more
than curve, angle, line, shade,
why anyone would want
to see this way.


Separate Ways

It might have been June or December,
morning or night, during fair weather
or foul. It was probably in the family home,
in a small town, in the South,
not too long ago, but this time,
just this once, none of that mattered.

It could have been any of the last
hundred centuries or so, in almost
any place you’d find a man and a woman
and a transparent wall between them.

The song on the radio might have been country
or classical, big band or alternative.
Odds are it was James Taylor
or someone trying to sound like James Taylor.

Her hair could have been any style,
his tie narrow or wide, stripes
vertical or horizontal. His hand
reaching out to her, might have had gold
or silver or nothing at all at the wrist.
Her blouse, pulling away, could have been
cotton, silk, 3/4 length, or sleeveless.

The children could have been
in public school or private, the house
split-level, ranch, Spanish revival,
none of which would have been enough.

She wanted things to work but didn’t see how.
He wanted to make them but knew his hand
had already been too heavy a force,
could hardly be counted on to change now.

They had grown apart, taken each other
for granted, forgotten the importance of love
Years of not touching, not talking had made
thought too big a thing to be reached through.

Her face, turning away, might have been
heavily made up or not at all.
From where he was, he couldn’t see her,
only a shape, a shadow between
him and where he wanted to be.
She couldn’t stop looking at the field,
the trees beyond the field, the mountains
beyond the trees, the sky beyond
the mountains. She knew something was coming.
she would lie down, open her arms up to it.


© Scott Owens



Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

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