KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Haibun: 520 words

Scorpio in Transit

by Bill Mohr

radiance only discerned
in autumn’s collapse

Twelve years ago. Twelve years from now. Each notch matching the odd, transfixed gear of its facing numerology. “The wheel of mutability”: how I love you, like Shenandoah, roll away, you muddy river. What I wouldn’t give is what I would give to hear Dave Alvin sing that at my funeral.

sprained forefinger!—but
only need my middle one
to snap this tune’s thumb

Listen more closely to single-syllable words, their weight as they stretch and squeeze your tongue. Your mouth is moist: lick the sides of your inner cheeks. When was the last time you lifted your tongue and rubbed the roof of your mouth for more than a few seconds? Imagine waking up from such a dream of self-massage.

asleep all day long
nameless winter cat

Not my face in a mirror, but my actual face existing as itself and looking at me with my eyes closed. Are these words the closest the other face can come without its breath waking the dreamer?

I imagine the pleasure I could give to another, and let the fantasy stop there. I stop short now, all too often, even in imagining the ecstasy that once fluttered within like a kite that needed no wind but its desire to hover.

windsock candle flame
flutters on a windowsill:
foghorn fades at dawn

Is there life elsewhere in the universe intelligent enough to make up jokes? A joke about sex, for instance. Much as I want to, I won’t repeat my favorite one right now. Much as I don’t want to, I must learn to laugh without depending on the bawdiness of innuendo.

Color itself arouses the caress of itself. A bicyclist pedals past the stop sign, pale pink saddlebags on a verdant shade of silver. Thickening green. Even thicker yellow. A shimmer of gray-green. I dream of being in my old apartment, the one I lived in 20 years before I had no other choice but to leave.

coral tree: 	caw 	caw
      caw—impatient numbering—
one sun, one sun, one

A restlessness cavorts on the periphery of all philosophical aphorisms. “Take it back,” the agitated logic of the nihilist says. “Don’t you dare call me a sentimental old fool. I don’t think anything contains some secret longing for meaning. Take it back that I weep at night by myself, that I’m full of a hard-won self-pity. Take it back or you’ll be sorry.” And the playground kicks the ball into a muddy corner as the bell sounds.

no bag
freshly washed laundry shouldered
the skateboarder glides

Record rain, the weather reports claimed. Not enough, though, to saturate my memory. Summer’s recoil waits with grievances that can’t be settled in a few months.

Surely if there is an ocean beneath the mantle of this planet, other exoplanets have the same inner cauldron full of salty sloshing. Meanwhile, on this patio, the first few drops blacken each brick with islands of their splatter. In the last light, trembling streaks of violet dapple the meridians.

refusing to die
the plum tree’s periphery:
crescent crescendoes


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