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Summer's Drug

Roo Borson
From:   Night Walk, Selected Poems. Oxford University Press, Toronto, 1994.

Those nights. They came after days during which my father's cigarette glowed like a rose caught in sunset on a distant hillside. Then he would stub it out and night would fall.



The air would be traversed by strange scents emanating from night-blooms, and the passion vine broadcast for miles around its coded message, wound along the trellis. The fruit dangled, frosted with silver and fur, and inside: a smile of translucent teeth, a mouth full of smuggled jewels. The honeysuckle threaded everything with white and yellow trumpets, evaporating in a sweet gas. So sweet that one inhalation inflames the nostrils and after that is no longer detected.



All night long my parents slept, breathing it, my mother facing that darkened place she would always roll toward, the open window to the wild hill. And my father next to her under the light, fallen asleep in the middle of himself as in a field he'd been crossing, the book still open beneath his fingers, and the circling moths, with wings of powdered lead, whirling shadows around his face.


Roo Borson's works copyright © to the author.


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