Far from the buggy cone of the porch light
two boys kiss breathlessly, fingers enlaced,
their tongues delicate as snails touching horns.
And from under the rhododendron, the snail
herself pulls her soft foot over the floss
of the grass, leaving behind a frail drizzle of silver.
The raccoon in his leather gloves licks
sticky gold from the broken crockery of egg shells.
And the Thief, the armful of her hair pinned,
glinting, under her hat, pauses in driveway
after driveway to wrench stereos from dashboards.
Yes, she’s thinking of the businessmen who will rise before dawn
and leave without breakfast, nothing but coffee
in their sour stomachs, who have no choice
now but to hear the birds, no choice but to witness
how their breath blows out the last faint stars
wavering atop the blue cake of morning.
Katherine Hollander earned a master’s degree from Boston University’s graduate program in creative writing in 2006. Her poems have appeared in, among others, Open City, The Marlboro Review and The Comstock Review. Her reviews and critical writing can be found in Pleiades, Poet Lore, Rain Taxi, and Verse. (11/2007)