The stars over the Atlantic are dangling
               salt crystals. The room at the Seashell Inn is
               $20 a night; special winter off-season rate.
               No one else here but us and the night clerk,
               five floors below, alone with his cherished
               stack of Spiderman. My lips are red snails
               in a primal search for every constellation
               hiding in the sky of your body. My hand
               waits for permission, for my life to agree
               to be changed, forever. Can Captain Night
               Clerk hear my fingers tambourining you
               there on the moon? Won’t he soon climb
               the stairs and bam! on the hood of this car?
               You are a woman with film reels for eyes.
               Years of long talking have brought us to the
               land of the body. Our skin is one endless
               prayer bead of brown. If my hand ever lands,
               I will fly past dreaming Australian Aborigines.
               The old claw hammer and monkey wrench
               that flew at Brenda Jones will fly across the
               yard of ocean at me. A grease rag will be
               thrust into my painter’s pants against my
               will. I will never be able to wash or peel
               any of this away. Before the night is over
               someone I do not know will want the keys
               to my ’55 silver Thunderbird. He will chase
               me down the street. A gaggle of spooked
               hens will fly up in my grandmother’s yard,
               never to lay another egg, just as I am jump-
               ed, kneed, pulled finally to the high ground
               of sweet clover.
From The Aureole by Nicky Finney
Nicky Finney