1999 Graduate Poetry Winner
An Orange Under Pressure in the Desert
for its diversity
among yuccas and diamondbacks.
Having tasted another part of the world
far from where Jerusalem crickets were tiny motors
pulling on the stillness,
pulling the stars closer.
I believed fangs could enter citrus
and change life forever.
You canít imagine this conflict between the orange
and the desert snake
unless you had been caught screwing:
twenty years old, naked in the burning grave
of Yucca Lake.
There was an orange in your hand,
and the snake
had shaken off the chill of his night
to become a policeman giving orders to your bare ass.
Atoms lay everywhere.
your unlucky lover took that moment to scream
into that rock and space.
Some things in the desert were best eaten raw,
like the slow wind,
the mussel moon,
and the grudge of a snake.
In that biotic metronome, in the shade
of a Dodge police truck,
ants taste like lemons.
Thomas Gribble was a winner of the Associated Writing Programsí Intro Journals Project for 1998, poetry. His work was selected as a finalist in both the 1997 Floating Bridge Chapbook Contest and the 1998 Palanquin Press Chapbook Contest, and has also appeared in Hawaii Review, Puerto Del Sol, Crab Creek Review and others. Gribble was this yearís recipient of the Touchstone Graduate Poetry Award.
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Last updated May 1, 2003