P. F. Potvin




Heaping in a Party


"Let us pray," the teacher commanded when our sweettooths gnawed away

the bookhunger. I knelt on the broken tiles, cursed the rations, and

blurted mine the loudest. But the following day was only bitter.

After cracking problems for hours in our moldering texts, the teacher

belled a break. This time she slung a picture. Then we joined hands

in a new prayer to Castro. The next day green uniforms heaped in a

party of crates. We squealed, skipped, and stuffed our mouths just

plump enough to make you believe.




Accidental Proof


Her car radio said wildfire. But she listened closer. "It's nowhere

near here." Still he saw it roaring her, raging from gully to river,

forest to field, then fanning to consume her memory. It blackened the

mountain fire lookout where they curled at lightning. It charred a

spooked grizzly that reared near the hood of their car. It boiled the

lake where they dove clear and held the moon down under at dawn. A

year later she remembered only shouting. He leapt from her car at 80

mph with his proof of the radio's wrong.





Jamon Jamon


She watches the kids after breakfast, and I come in the afternoon.

Sometimes, she drives her new boyfriend's Volvo. The other days he

rips into the driveway, waves his hands, and revs the engine. He's a

serious conductor and never says a word to me. Last week, she walked

over to watch Jamon Jamon. The Spanish film was about a colossal

wooden bull on a hillside and people forking ham and eggs. It ended

with her boyfriend driving aimlessly as her clothes lay heaping the





An Unwilling Story


They divide the bed in half, give or take a leg. And he's always

reaching. Soon she's had it, flips and slits the mattress,

clawing out her stuffing. She blows the day beading neighborhood

windows with her BB gun and gulping red wine. When she's gathered

enough material in her black plastic sack, she rustles home and

refills her half—33% shard, 17% cork. She thinks it can be

that simple. But his half is a different story that needs no telling

because in the end he's still unwilling to stay off her side.






Animals at 5 A.M.


Your back in bed is this typewriter. Each space between the blades

another letter to move me into this —


a kiddy dream before Where

The Wild Things Are a jungle

my mouth a lushpocket loaded

with zebracorn, unilion,

crochadactyle jacking boats while

a choir of hyenas ring

in a triangle song your voice

held delicate blue

ink took me home to father

my fingers continue

on and so you called me

daddy if I'm yours somewhere

listening thirty years beyond

in a wallpaper pealing

motel yellow TV blare shivering

across dogs in alleys like

yesterday's change


So now it's not tonight then. You're too tuckered to speak and I'm

taptaptipping for sleep.

Goodbye I thought.


P.S. typewriter — Don't wake the animals