Enter Year of the Rat
Russell Brakefield

We are anchors in the orchestra pit.
Olive pinballs and dresses
falling over the edge of tall highballs behind the hatchery
in a field in Antrim County where we first lost the will to hold ourselves
any longer.

Spectacles are kept in the places that need illumination,
and darkness is the best place
to see something that isn't.
The bedside, the best place to feel something that isn't.

Our first of the year is a moon sized plate of chilled guilt.

Here folks say, "Come in. Come in and taste
the trays full of food coloring
and the Neptune flavored relish. The taste is cutting
the brows of pearled girls
laying unashamedly in the front row of the every man's mind.

And we wade intently through our floor cast glances
saying simply, "What is that in front of us that
only we can see?"

Our knees are so good to us.
Even in times of unsteady confusion and postcoitus cramps.